As I settle in back home and begin to reflect on the cross-country train trip I just completed, I thought we would pause this week and look at what it means to be an “expert” in any given cultural context, and across cultures. I wondered where this topic would best fit in our Global SKILLs training - I think in the Collaboration component of our PROACTive Strategies…what do you think?*
One of the best things about ‘long haul’ train travel is you can meet the most interesting people and sometimes that even includes serendipitous kinds of connections. This happened for me with the gentleman who was just across the hall from my roomette on my 2 day/2 night travel from California to Chicago. Amazingly, we had both attended Middlebury College (me for undergrad, him for his Masters) in the same domain which led to each of our career paths: I chose Middlebury planning to major in French, although I ended up majoring in linguistics; he did his French Masters degree at Middlebury and was a French teacher for 35 years.
As we shared about our careers, I was intrigued to hear his stories of emerging expertise through different language teaching contexts including French in ‘traditional’ schools but also, for many years, Latin and French in a school for choir boys. He expressed interest in turn (which helped me see for myself) my own emerging expertise as I had started in field linguistics and moved on to specializations in language acquisition and program planning which has led me now to focusing on global community building.
As peers in similar domains with over 8 decades of cross-cultural work and life experience between us (!), we had several wonderful conversations reviewing the steps and stages of each of our careers and celebrating facets of our American, French, and (for me) African cultural expertise. Seeing him 10 years ahead of me the whole way also helped and inspired me to hone in on some immediate planning challenges for my future. What a wonderful collaboration it was…and will continue to be as we stay in touch!
How about you ~ what is one facet of your own established or emerging cultural expertise?
Share about that with a friend or note it here.
And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for some very diverse examples of cultural expertise.
Thanks for being part of this Connect community.
Until next week,
Global SKILLs LINKs
~ Wow - guess what?! The phrase “cultural expertise” which I literally just chose ‘out of the blue’ for my topic title this week, is actually an “emergent concept in the social sciences” Who knew?! https://culturalexpertise.net/
~ yet another ‘cultural expertise’ label I have been working on in recent years, through the tiny living movement here in the US, is about to bear fruit as I was invited to present at the first annual Tiny House Summit - check it out online (my session is on Sunday, Nov 6): https://tinyhousetalk.com/free-tiny-house-summit-2022/
* Through my business Global SKILLs and several partner subsidiaries I offer unique cross-cultural consulting and training including:
3 Dimensional Dynamics Model: (which we explored this week)
1st dimension = HOME ; 2nd dimension = HOST ; 3rd dimension = HARBOR)
PROACTive Learning Strategies: PRO = PROfile, PROcess, PROgram
ACT = Application, Collaboration (which we explored this week) and Transformation
~ contact me for more information on this model and these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming
2022 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in
intercultural communications and global community building
“It takes a community to build a community”
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