Related to: 'Americans At Work'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Why Travel Matters

Craig Storti
Authors:
Craig Storti

When you travel, you have a choice: You can be a tourist and have a nice time, or you can be a traveller - and change your life. Most people who travel want to get something out of the experience. They want to grow and be changed. Whether travelling for pleasure or work, on a trip of a lifetime, gap year or a short break away, Why Travel Matters will help you broaden your mind and bring back a different self from the one who set out.Using the wisdom of great travellers such as Paul Theroux, Freya Stark, George Orwell, Alexander Pope and Paul Bowles, plus the knowledge won during his years as an intercultural educator, Craig Storti lays out the ways we can approach travel for it to make a true impact. Covering the lessons we can learn from new approaches to daily life, the impact of environment and the ways we relate to ourselves, Why Travel Matters is a deeply practical guide to the transformational power of travel.

Intercultural Press

The Art of Doing Business Across Cultures

Craig Storti
Authors:
Craig Storti
Intercultural Press

Speaking of India

Craig Storti
Authors:
Craig Storti

Westerners and Indians are working more closely together and in greater numbers than ever before. The opportunities are vast, and so is the cultural divide. Misunderstanding, misinterpretation, missed deadlines and frustration due to cultural differences raise havoc on success. Any Westerner conducting business with Indians, and any Indian trying to figure out the West, will recognize the challenge. Craig Storti has helped more than 20 global companies in just this situation. With more than a dozen years of experience working between the two cultures, he has trained thousands of employees, interviewed hundreds of managers and has identified key cultural flashpoints. The result is a powerful series of Best Practices, the basis of Speaking of India. From the difference between the way Indians and Westerners use "yes" and "no" to the secrets of a successful conference call, to the changing status of women in the Indian workplace to the do's and don'ts of daily interaction, this essential guide helps us realize the ambitious dreams of working together.once we understand each other!

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Art of Coming Home

Craig Storti
Authors:
Craig Storti

Expecting that the home will be the way it was when you left? Are you instead shocked to discover that both you and home have changed? The Art of Coming Home offers the solid advice you need to reduce the stress of making the transition home. Leave-taking, the honeymoon stage, reverse culture shock, and eventual readjustment - The Art of Coming Home lays out the four stages of the reentry process and details practical strategies for dealing with the challenges you will face each step of the way. Veteran trainer, consultant, and world adventurer Craig Storti sketches the workplace challenges faced by returning business executives as well as the reentry issues of spouses, younger children, and teenagers. He also addresses in detail the special issues faced by exchange students, international volunteers, military personnel and their families, and missionaries and their children. Whether you are a recent returnee or are just now thinking of moving abroad, The Art of Coming Home sets itself apart as it brings the process of returning home right to the heart of the overseas experience.

Intercultural Press

The Art of Crossing Cultures

Craig Storti
Authors:
Craig Storti

Adjusting to a new culture and getting along with the local people challenge everyone who lives and works abroad. Whether in business, diplomacy, education, or as a long-term visitor abroad, anyone can be blind-sided by a lack of international knowledge and experience and be caught at a disadvantage. In this completely revised and expanded edition of the classic The Art of Crossing Cultures, Craig Storti shows what it takes to encounter a new culture head-on an succeed. This one-of-a-kind guidebook to bridging the cultural divide - with more than 50,000 copies sold worldwide - incorporates a stellar sampling of the writings of some of the world's greatest writers, poets and observers of the human condition. Through the vivid perceptions and words of such literary legends as Noel Coward, Graham Greene, Rudyard Kipling, E. M. Forster, Mark Twain, Evelyn Waugh, and others, Storti paints an intimate portrait of the personal challenges of adjusting to another culture: anticipating differences, managing the temptation to withdraw, and gradually adjusting expectations of behaviour to fit reality. This timely new edition focuses special attention on how to deal with country and culture shock and includes many new examples of cross-cultural misunderstandings - particularly in business. Storti breaks new ground with his easy-to-understand model of cultural adjustment and tips on how to master the process and develop adaptive strategies - the heart of the cross-cultural experience.

Intercultural Press

Cross-Cultural Dialogues

Craig Storti
Authors:
Craig Storti

How much culture lurks in common conversation? According to Craig Storti, so much that many of our most common, seemingly innocent exchanges-in social settings, on the job, in the world of business-are cultural minefields waiting to explode. These explosions-cultural misunderstandings-can cause confusion, irritation, even alienation. At the workplace and in the world of business these explosions undermine communication, threaten important relationships, and cost a great deal of time and money; away from work, they strain, even endanger, personal relations. Cross-Cultural Dialogues is a collection of brief conversation (4-8 lines) between an American and someone from another country and culture. Short as each dialogue is, it has buried within it at least one, and usually several breaches of cultural norms which the reader is challenges to figure out. And a challenge it is: the exchanges are so brief and innocuous that even the wariest among us are sandbagged by the dialogue's hidden subtleties. Ten cultures are represented by the non-Americans in the dialogues: Arab/Middle Eastern, British, Chinese, French, German, Hispanic, Indian, Japanese, Mediterranean/European, and Russian, and the dialogues are grouped according to the setting in which they occur: social, workplace, and business. Whether you're a learner, trainer, educator, or an armchair interculturalist, you'll enjoy solving these cultural riddles-and increase your cultural awareness in the bargain.

Intercultural Press

Figuring Foreigners Out

Craig Storti
Authors:
Craig Storti

Alex Ferguson

Born in Glasgow in 1941, Sir Alex Ferguson was playing football at an international level as a school boy. He began his professional playing career in 1958 with Queen's Park. Four times winner of Manager of the Year, he has been the manager of Manchester United for thirteen years during a time when they have become the most successful and richest club in the world. MANAGING MY LIFE was awarded the British Book Awards' Book of the Year in 1999.Sir Alex Ferguson was born in 1941 in Govan, Scotland. A goal-scoring centre-forward, he was later transferred to Rangers for a Scottish record transfer fee. In 1974, he entered management with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren before joining Aberdeen, where consistent domestic success, followed by victory in the 1983 Cup Winners' Cup over Real Madrid, brought him wider attention.Arriving at Manchester United in 1986, he went on to accumulate 38 trophies, including five FA Cups, 13 Premier Leagues and two Champions Leagues. He was knighted in 1999, following Manchester United's remarkable Treble campaign, and his overall haul of 49 trophies makes him the most successful British manager of all time. Sir Alex announced his retirement in 2013, but he continues to serve United as a director and is a Fellow to the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.

Charles Hampden-Turner

Charles Hampden-Turner is a Senior Research Associate at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge and cofounder and Director of Research and Development at the Trompenaars-Hampden-Turner Group.

Christina Johansson Robinowitz

Christina Johansson Robinowitz is a cross-cultural coach, trainer and consultant. A native of Sweden and long time resident of the US she works with multinational companies and international organizations, specialising in Swedish/US Intercultural relations.

Craig Storti

Craig Storti is founder and co-director of Communicating Across Cultures, a Washington DC-based intercultural communication training and consulting firm. With work appearing in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, he is the author of six books. Having lived nearly a quarter of his life abroad, he lives now in Maryland. www.craigstorti.com

Davina Langdale

Davina Langdale studied Zoology at Bristol University, and worked with 93 chimpanzees and a hippo in Northern Zambia. She returned to the UK to take a postgraduate diploma in journalism at the London College of Printing, and after a brief stint in that field she realised that fiction was her true love. The Brittle Star is her first novel.

Donna M. Stringer

Donna Stringer, the founder and former president of Executive Diversity Services, is a social psychologist with more than thirty years of experience as a cross-cultural educator and trainer. She has worked with U.S. corporations in 23 countries.

Ernest Gundling

Ernest Gundling is co-founder and co-President of Aperian Global and author of Working GlobeSmart and co-author of Global Diversity.

Fons Trompenaars

Fons Trompenaars is a world-renowned expert on international management. He is the co-founder and director of Trompenaars Hampden-Turner (THT), and together with Charles Hampden-Turner he developed a model of national cultures based on seven key dimensions and how they combine to create the four basic types of corporate culture. Fons was voted one of the the top 20 Most Influential Thinkers 2011 by HR Magazine and has also been shortlisted by Thinkers50 for the Global Village Award. Trompenaars lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Geert Hofstede

Geert Hofstede is an international authority in the field of cross-cultural social psychology and is co-founder of the Institute for Research and Intercultural cooperation at Tilburg University where he also serves as a Senior Fellow. Culture's Consequences and Cultures and Organizations are two of the books for which he is famous.

John Mole

John Mole has been at home in Greece for thirty years. "Like Odysseus making his legendary way home to his birthplace Ithaca, the island of Evia was the goal of my life's journey. It was better than Birmingham." He has had a varied international career, from banking in the USA and Athens to jacket potato restaurants in Russia. Meanwhile, he published comic novels and management books, including the perennial bestseller 'Mind Your Manners'.

Joseph Shaules

Joseph Shaules, PhD, has worked in intercultural education in Japan, Mexico, and Europe for more than twenty-five years. He is the director of the Japan Intercultural Institute (JII) and teaches at the Rikkyo College of Business and the Keio University International Center. Shaules is a co-presenter on the NHK Television program "Nyuusu de Eikaiwa." He is also the Japan specialist for a consulting and training company based in Germany. He is the author of several books including A Beginner's Guide to the Deep Culture Experience also published by Intercultural Press. He lives in Tokyo.

Kevin Roose

Kevin Roose is a business and technology writer for New York magazine and NYMag.com. Previously, he was a staff reporter for the New York Times, where he covered Wall Street for the business section and for DealBook, the Times' award-winning financial news site. He is the author of The Unlikely Disciple, and his writing has appeared in GQ, Esquire, ESPN: The Magazine, and other major publications.

Margaret K. Nydell

Dr. Margaret Nydell is a widely respected scholar and professor of Modern Standard Arabic, Arabic dialectology, and many Arabic regional dialects. She was an Arabic linguist for the Foreign Service Institute and the U.S. Department of State, and has directed the latter s School of Advanced Arabic Training in Tunisia. The author of ten books, she currently lectures on Arab cultural orientation for numerous government and private organizations. Dr. Nydell holds a master s degree in Arabic and a PhD in applied linguistics, both from Georgetown University. She has lived and worked in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Cairo.