Team Assignment 1: Cross-Cultural Communication and Manners
Step 1: Statement of the Problem: Recognition of Decision Requirement
In the case of Saving Grace in Haiti, hurricanes hit Haiti and destroyed the Pinnacle community. Saving Grace Ministries has developed a plan to renovate the community. A temporary “tent city” has been created in the community for refugees to go from all over the island. There are people of all different religions in the “tent city”. Ministry leaders arrived in Haiti but did not spend much time with refugees. The leaders decided the best way to talk to everyone and get everything in the open was to have one big meeting. Leaders passed out flyers to everyone that they saw to come to the meeting. Out of 1, 000 people only 10 showed up to the meeting by 1:30 that afternoon.
Step 2: Situation Analysis: (include a SWOT analysis to diagnosis and analysis of causes of the problem. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)
Strengths: The basic strength of the Haitians to overcome adversity, and their recognition that the Saving Grace Ministry does want to help are two important strengths. Saving Grace’s chief strength is probably the sincerity of wanting to help constructively, and their eagerness to do so in the face of such a high level of devastation. They were probably somewhat overwhelmed. Ideally, all the resources the ministry has are strengths, such as time, people who want to help, money, water, clothing, construction supplies, medical help, etc.
Weaknesses: Unfortunately, the state of disequilibrium is fairly significant. There seems to have been none or minimal direct interaction between the Saving Grace ministers and the Haitians they so want to help. This is also the biggest weakness—the direct absences of positive (or negative) communication between the two groups. Another weakness is the total ignoring of any possible differences among the Haitians. A type of ethnocentricity is obvious as the Saving Grace personnel seem to just assume they know what is best to help the Haitians, as many “civilized”, educated, probably mostly white, groups believe. The lack of demonstrating basic respect by even greeting the Haitians as well as finding out exactly who was within the total group, and not planning and meeting concurrently with local authorities and other community leaders, are other demonstrated weaknesses.
Opportunities: Opportunity certainly exists to develop relationships on a personal level with the Haitians, and to communicate with them directly. Everyone must learn about everyone else. One small example would be learning how important greetings are to Haitians. The website Countries and Their Cultures explain that, especially in rural areas, Haitian will often greet each other several times before they have an additional conversation and/or even just keep on traveling (Etiquette, 2018). ...