Showing posts from March, 2009

Cross cultural management and mirroring

What I always felt to be true, now gets support from neuroscience. We understand other people because we mirror their behaviour in our brains, not because we can find the deeper meaning of what they do in terms of underlying values and concepts. Understanding other people is based on the activity of brain cells that 'copy' what the other person does, so that we feel what the other person experiences. This is the essence of Marco Jacoboni's book 'Mirroring People'. The 'mirroring' concept gives an attractive alternative to the sender-receiver model of communication, in which people pack meaning in words and gestures, and others unpack these messages to find the meaning. Many texts on cross-cultural communication are based on this model. Since people encode their meaning in different ways, we need to unravel the cultural code to understand what they really mean. The popular model of the 'onion', also used by Hofstede, where we have to peel one layer a…