Greetings and Happy Midweek!
I have been thinking lately about honesty mainly because I have been personally impacted by several scam attempts in the past few weeks. So I thought we would explore this topic today. Although as you can see - the title here is actually “Honestly” (we’ll look at that in a minute!), honesty itself is something we, as cross-cultural workers and people interested in these dynamics, often wrestle with. I think the best space for this topic in our Global SKILLs training is our HOST dimension of 3D Dynamics, since an essential first ingredient of any cross-cultural dealing is how exactly your host community defines and practices honesty!
And that is the crux of this matter, right? What exactly IS honesty?! I, and I am sure you, have lived through countless cross-cultural interactions, coming out of them saying, “Gee, that person was really dishonest”, or “I have no idea what just happened but it sure seems to me that situation involved some dishonesty”. But then when I explored the situation a bit more carefully, availing myself of ‘local’ (= ‘host’) perspectives and practices, I learned in fact that whatever happened or was said was not intended as or considered dishonest by anyone involved, except me!
Does it help to define honesty? Perhaps…but certainly not in just western terms. Facets of honesty in most ‘dictionary’ definitions include and assume things like truth and lying and trust. In reality, each of these, like honesty itself, can be and is culturally re-defined and/or re-negotiated every day around the world, depending on a myriad of things like context, intention, expectation, etc.
I would like to suggest a better approach to a simple (and probably simplistic) definition is, when you are wondering, don’t impose your own ‘honesty’ grid, but rather take each situation and ask those involved, “Honestly?” This hopefully will engage participants, your host community or whomever, in exploring together with you if honesty is present - or maybe not! Sharing in each context what each person perceives and practices as ‘honesty’ through each of their own cultural lenses might just provide some very helpful insights.
How about you ~ what’s a context where you could have asked “Honestly?” recently?
Share about that with a friend or note it here.
And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for a range of honesty perspectives.
Thanks for being part of this Connect community.
Until next week,
Global SKILLs LINKs - All about honesty…honestly!
~ a pretty straightforward ‘scientific’ survey; https://behavioralscientist.org/does-culture-shape-our-underlying-tendencies-toward-dishonesty/
~ an interesting (and what I consider to be rather non-western or at least non-traditionally western) perspective, in a western business context: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/evolving-cultures-foster-honesty-trust-joseph-williams-he-him-his-/
~ a generational perspective: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-022-03785-6
* Through my business Global SKILLs and several partner subsidiaries I offer unique cross-cultural consulting and training including:
3 Dimensional Dynamics Model:
1st dimension = HOME ; 2nd dimension = HOST (which we explored this week); 3rd dimension = HARBOR)
PROACTive Learning Strategies: (which we explored this week) PRO = PROfile, PROcess, PROgram
ACT = Application, Collaboration 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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