Finding the zone of appropriateness when crossing cultures [The Culture Guy Podcast]

In this first episode of 2016 Christian talks to Andy Molinsky, author of the book “Global Dexterity” and Professor at International Management and Organizational Behavior at Brandeis University.

Andy.MolinskyAndy specializes in cross-cultural interaction in business settings and has created a popular MBA course focused on cross-cultural adaptation. He has published widely on the topic of cultural adaptation; his work has been featured by a range of media outlets including the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, NPR, Voice of America, and Harvard Business Review.

Andy’s book is considered one of the most influential works in the intercultural field in recent years and we frequently use some of his concepts during training and coaching programs at The Culture Mastery. One of the principles Andy teaches is that when crossing cultures there often isn’t a right way to adjust to different behaviors. People typically have a Zone of Appropriateness for our behavioral preferences.

During the interview Andy and Christian mention the Global Dexterity assessment tool for diagnosing cultural gaps. You will find on the HBR website, where you will also see a series of blog posts Andy wrote on the subject – including two articles he co-authored with Christian:

You will also be able to find much of Andy’s work on his LinkedIn profile, and he shares valuable bits of information via his Twitter @andymolinsky.

In this episode Christian also talks about:


We appreciate listener feedback for The Culture Guy Podcast and we encourage you to keep sending us your input for future episodes:

  • What are your tips and tricks for cultural adjustment?
  • What were some of your most memorable “cultural fool moments”?
  • Which topics would you like to hear discussed on future podcast episodes?

To send in your feedback for the show, please email Christian and use our social media outlets: The Culture Mastery Facebook Page, the Facebook Page for The Culture Guy Podcast, our company’s Twitter feed, and Christian’s personal Twitter.
In fact, we would be honored if you could help us spread the word about The Culture Guy Podcast. Tell your networks and show people this page so we can get a feel for which cross-cultural topics you are most passionate about.

Please use the hashtag #TheCultureGuy when you share this idea with your connections.

If you are interested in learning more about cultural competence, we invite you to sign up for our newsletter, The Culture Reflections. As a token of our appreciation you will receive FREE white papers on cultural competence from us! Go ahead and sign up here now and we will send you the download links to the FREE white papers via email.

Sign up NOW to receive your FREE white papers!

Share this Post

Comments 1

  1. Nicely done, Christian and Andy! I enjoyed the full podcast, but was especially struck by the insight at the end that people who are crossing cultures whether as students, corporate employees, or refugees are all basically going through the same kind of process. I think that powerful truth is what makes the intercultural field so rewarding, as you both expressed: those of us working in it have the potential to make a difference in such diverse arenas. As I’ve said before, I think Andy’s work is a fantastic and overdue addition to the field (American gushing here – very unGerman of me!) in that it gets at the emotional and identity core of the person who is actually making the adjustment. Thanks to you both for advancing the conversation!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *