Complete all 8 steps on a culture bump.

You can use the instructions below or our online 8 Step Tool, here.

  1. Pinpoint the bump - (Ex: I had a culture bump with a man from Japan when we were greeting one another and I thought it was awkward.)

  2. Describe what the other person(s) did - (He bowed and said, “Hello.”)

  3. Describe what you did - (I put out my right hand and said, “Hello.”)

  4. List the emotions you felt when the bump happened - (I felt shocked, embarrassed, confused, nervous and off-balance, insecure.)

  5. Find the universal situation in the culture bump - (Responding to meeting someone in a professional capacity for the first time.)

  6. Describe what you would do or would expect others to do in that universal situation - (I would look them in the eye, take their hand and give a firm shake for about 2 seconds.)

  7. List the qualities you feel that action demonstrates - (When I do this, I think this demonstrates that I am trustworthy and someone that they can depend on.)

  8. Ask or think about how those qualities are demonstrated by other people - (When I think about this, I really don’t know how other cultures determine if someone is trustworthy. But this opens the possibility that I need to learn more information about something I was unconsciously unaware about.)

Write a 3 or 4 sentence story about the bump.

Be sure to assign names to the characters. For example:

Trivia Story

Jane Morehead was meeting a business associate for the first time from another country at the airport. She walked up to him and put her hand out while saying “hello” and he bowed and said, “Hello.” Jane felt confused.

Ask a question about the name of the culture of the “Other” person in the story.

Remember the cultures might be rural/urban; elderly/young; blue collar/white collar. Be sure to give 4 examples to choose from.

Question 1

What country or region do you think the business associate might be from?

  1. Africa

  2. Latin America

  3. Europe

  4. Asia

Ask another question about identifying the culture bump in the story.

Again give choices for the answer.

Question 2

What is the culture bump in the Trivia Story.

  1. A woman shouldn’t go alone to the airport to greet a male business associate.

  2. Jane said hello at the same time she put her hand out.

  3. The man bowed as a greeting.

  4. Jane should have used his name when she said hello.

Give a brief explanation for the culture bump.

Example Explanation

Many Japanese, as well as some other Asian business people, will bow when meeting someone for the first time while most Americans, Latin Americans and Europeans as well as some Africans will shake hands or use a combination of gestures to greet business associates.

Give the common human situation.

Give a brief explanation that begins with the following words and replace the placeholder with the information from your story.

The different cultural reactions to this common human situation may lead to a difference of perceptions of one another and feed stereotypes. {Main Character of Story} is unsure of how {Other Character of Story} shows (Quality named in Step 7}. {Main Character of Story} now knows s/he has a blind spot (bias) in this area.

The common human situation is:

Responding to meeting someone in a professional capacity for the first time.

The different cultural reactions to this common human situation may lead to a difference of perceptions of one another and feed stereotypes. Jane is unsure of how her new colleague shows trustworthiness. She now knows she has a blind spot (or bias) in this area.

Ask the following question using these words.

Replace the placeholder with the information from your story.

How do you show (Quality named in Step 7}? What are other ways of showing (Quality named in Step 7}? (Fill in the blanks with the answer from your Step 7.)

Example Questions

How do you show trustworthiness? What are other ways of showing trustworthiness?

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