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Identifying beliefs and values in different cultures


We will shortly be running a training workshop on team effectiveness. The workshop will take place in mainland Europe with a mix of participants from Europe, Japan and India. I would be very grateful if anybody could give me some ideas on how to draw out from the participants their different beliefs and values around the issue of teams and teamwork.

Anne O'Hare

9 Responses

  1. Demonstrating beliefs and values in different cultures
    Hi Anne,

    Why not get each member to run a team-based exercise using the whole group (if feasible, or a cultural selection if not). It will begin to bring out cultural differences. Then you can, as a group, focus in on those areas of ‘sameness’ and those areas of ‘difference’ that emerge from the range of exercises that you do and approaches used.
    Thus the differences of approach can be raised, discussed, explained and understood in a clearer way than passively discussing it.

    Good luck,


  2. Some exercises you could use
    Dear Anne,
    If you’d like to get in touch I’d be happy to send you some sample exercises and ideas that would help you with this challenge as this is one of our particular areas of expertise.

    You can get in touch at –

    All the very best,


  3. Befliefs and values
    This is a very delicate area and needs precaution especially when dealing with the Far East and India. If you would like to put some questions across I will be happy in answering them. I specialise in this specific area especially when religion has direct impact in the decision making. You would need clear information on your participants attending.


  4. Values learning tool
    Hi Anne,

    I have also been required to design and deliver a programme with similar needs. I have an extremely useful tool for identifying values and beliefs, and how to work with these in a team situation. Please get in touch and I can talk you through it.

  5. Hoftsede can help…
    Hofstede literally ‘wrote the book’ on culture, creating the first viable behaviourally researched model for use at work, deonstrating the impact of values and beliefs on behaviour..(see ‘Cultures Consequences’ / or better for your issue – ‘Cultures & Orgnaisations’)His 4-D model will be a big help to you and can be used to provoke some really fruitfull discussion. I’d be happy to talk through some ideas you could use. We can offer an excellent instrument too (see Hofstede ‘Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire’ on if you are interested, but I’m happy to talk regardless; just email..

  6. Multi-cultural team development
    Anne, You have received so far some good ideas to use when you get things going. I have used successfully an introductory event at which each member describes themselves, the country/part of the country from which they come, and how they think others see them, especially where a team environment is required. This usually starts a good discussion and kicks off the even in a lively way.

  7. Don’t lose the ‘corporate’ image
    I can’t fault any of the ideas already presented but if you are running the workshop for a group that all work for the same international organisation you musn’t forget that you have a ‘corporate’ image and therefore the candidates need to recognise that there is a company way of doing things, but with ‘adjustments’ that reflect local cultures. If this is the case you need to put accross the corporate approach, giving room to discuss how this needs to be modified to take account of local cultures – and this means facilitating discussions after each key point.

  8. Beliefs and values in different cultures
    Hi Anne,

    I also agree with much of the advice you have been given, particularly from Michael. While looking at stereotypical international cultures is a good start, it is important to remember that our national culture is greatly impacted by corporate and local team cultures.

    Depending on how innovative you want to be, you could coinsider things ranging from questionnaires (I have one with with responses from over 400 people from 7 different countries to compare against) through business related role-play scenarios to a board game aimed at raising cross cultural awareness in 5 core areas that make up culture.

    I’d be happy to talk through your options and offer you some advice if you want to get in touch with me.


    0788 079 0815

  9. diversity
    One approach we used with international audiences at the start of seminars, was to get them to flipchart what they thought of other cultures – and then got the culture to explain why people might get such a stereotypical view.
    It made for great debate, and much honesty early on – the session then needs to then move into what’s similar between the different cultures present, hwat are the common goals and beliefs.
    This is a great opening session when done well (naturally doing it would dedpend upon the maturity of the audience and the exprience of the facilitator), but the approach does facilitate genuine dialogue and makes for an extremely powerful and transparent opening session.
    Wayne Thomas at did it for our international Presidents and Vice Presidents, I feel sure he would share his ideas with you if you were interested.
    Good luck !


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