Monday, May 2, 2011

Serving with Eyes Wide Open

The following are some helpful tips/notes that I got from the book Serving with Eyes Wide Open:  Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence (it’s a good book; I highly recommend it).  I jotted these notes down a few years ago to share with the YIM students at ENC, so here's a condensed version.  If you need me to clarify something, let me know!

Knowledge Cultural Intelligence (CQ): our understanding about cross-cultural issues and differences
-gaining general info about how cultures vary
-How does culture affect the way people view the world?  How does that relate to the specific culture you’re about to visit?  How does it explain our own behavior?  What’s behind the common gestures used?
Areas to be aware of:
-Event time vs. Clock time
-High context (people have a lot of history together, and everyone seems to be an insider) vs. Low context (much of the information needed to participate is explicit)
-Individualism (or importance on membership in groups)
-Power distance—how “far apart” leaders and followers feel from each other (having to do with attitudes toward authority figures).
-Uncertainty avoidance—being at ease with the unknown and what lies ahead
-“Interactive learning, conversations, and readings related to cultural differences are helpful ways to gain understanding about cross-cultural differences.” [talk with your teammates]

Interpretive CQ:  the degree to which we’re mindful and aware when we interact cross-culturally
-intentionally questioning our assumptions
How to develop this area:
-stimulate your imagination by reading novels and biographies about and by people in the places where you’re going.  [I know we are all busy college students already reading hundreds of pages…]
Suggested books: Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake: A Novel (from India) and Brother Yun’s The Heavenly Man (China).
-open or close your window (your style of relating and communicating).  Adapt your communication and behavior in a way that puts the other person at ease…By adjusting your behavior to mirror theirs, they’ll automatically feel more comfortable
-JOURNAL!!! Think about the meaning behind these observations and experiences.  Describe things that make you uncomfortable.  Write down questions that come to mind.  What insights are you gaining?  What are you seeing different about yourself, others, and God?  How might your faith be different if you had grown up in this culture instead of at home?
-cross-cultural immersions within your own community/daily life

Perseverance CQ:  level of interest, drive, and motivation to adapt cross-culturally
-engagement with the culture as a whole
-understand different cultures and different ways of seeing the world
-really experiencing the culture [This can also relate to your level of connectedness with people back home.]
-“Our level of interest in connecting with the culture as a whole will directly shape how well we do our work in subtle but profound ways.”
-view the trip as one of many life experiences that impact us and others, as part of a seamless life of missional living that includes giving and receiving, and relevant to God’s call on your lives

Behavioral CQ:  changing our verbal and nonverbal actions when interacting cross-culturally
-flexibility and adjustment
-practice here in the States [Ukraine: crossing arms or speaking with hands in pockets]
-adaptability in interacting and communicating
-exposure to uncomfortable situations

No comments:

Post a Comment