Silent language is responsible for raising barriers between individuals of different nationalities and causes what is known as “cultural shock”
Doctor in Philosophy and anthropologist Edward T. Hall has dedicated his life to research in cultural perception of space, intercultural communication techniques (which he will then expand to business world) and proxemics, this branch of knowledge which studies the physical distance between people during an interaction.
In 1959 he introduced the concept of silent language in his book The silent language. He observed that culture is a non-verbal communication and it is culture which builds a silent link between individuals, but also that this same silent language is responsible for raising barriers between individuals of different nationalities.
Hall then dissect intercultural communication via its concept of "major triad". According to him, this is the backbone of all cultures:
- The formal is what is lived daily by the individual, known and perfectly mastered,
- The informal is linked to a specific practice, specific to rare, sometimes unknown and uncontrolled situations
- The technique is the scientific approach of a theme, acquired through the explicit communication
What Hall did for us in 1959 is to study the roots of what we today call a "cultural shock": the feeling that permeates us when faced with a different culture. This feeling where it seems that people around behave in a completely irrational and often frustrating way; ultimately unpleasant, and sometimes without even a single word exchanged.
Source and inspiration :
Edward T. Hall, The Silent Language, Doubleday & company, New York, 1959
Christine Geoffroey, Management interculturel, Recherche & Formation, 2000
Oprah Winfrey said in one of the interview she was giving :
"There’s a wonderful phrase by Maya Angelou, from a poem that she wrote called “To our grandmothers”, that she says:
“I come as one, but I stand as ten thousand.”
So when I walk into a room, particularly before I have something really challenging to do, or I’m going to be in a circumstance where I feel I’m going to be you know, up against some difficulties. I will literally sit, and I will call on the 10,000."
Note : the actual phrase in the poem is : "I go forth along, and stand as ten thousand."
The Brook's law states that when a person is added to a project team, and the project is already late, the project time is longer, rather than shorter. Brooks’ law is recognized as applicable to any complex endeavor involving lots of people interacting together, not just software engineering.
Harvard neuroscientists Jason Mitchell and Diana Tamir found that disclosing information about the self is intrinsically rewarding. In one study, Mitchell and Tamir hooked subjects up to brain scanners and asked them to share either their own opinions and attitudes (“I like snowboarding”) or the opinions and attitudes of another person (“He likes puppies”). They found that sharing personal opinions activated the same brain circuits that respond to rewards like food and money. So talking about what you did this weekend might feel just as good as taking a delicious bite of double chocolate cake.
We need to think about failure differently.
I’m not the first to say that failure, when approached properly, can be an opportunity for growth. But the way most people interpret this assertion is that mistakes are a necessary evil. Mistakes aren’t a necessary evil. They aren’t evil at all.
They are an inevitable consequence of doing something new (and, as such, should be seen as valuable; without them, we’d have no originality). And yet, even as I say that embracing failure is an important part of learning, I also acknowledge that acknowledging this truth is not enough.
That’s because failure is painful, and our feelings about this pain tend to screw up our understanding of its worth. To disentangle the good and the bad parts of failure, we have to recognize both the reality of the pain and the benefit of the resulting growth.