Tag Archives: Criticalthinking

LET YOURSELF OFFEND. The benefits of letting you get offended.

You get an understanding and compassionate ear here, but the most significant benefit lies in permitting me to offend you. First of all, if I didn’t dare to offend, I couldn’t be honest. Being offended offers a real-world check outside of one’s comfort zone. Second, if I solely entertained you, I’d waste your time distracting from the real work to be done. I will, however, offend you with substance, so you can accomplish getting very clear on your worldview / identity: Who are you really beyond social conditioning? What would you stand for if you had the self-confidence to overcome social pressure? Why are you here as a complete human being beyond economic considerations? Also, the feeling of being offended is a warning indicator that is showing you where to look within yourself for unresolved issues.

I may offend people, but I also make it easy for them to forgive me. You’re not alone; my content and approaches contain wisdom that offends quite everyone. I love people in general (not only the proximate ones who flatter me), and that’s why I care to offend you too. To be genuinely kind means to have the courage to offend. Of course, people like sugar. But shall I, therefore, feed them with more of what is not suitable for health? I’ve learned that if I love myself, I have the courage to allow me to get offended (which doesn’t mean to let me abuse, though).

If we feel offended without being able to forgive the offender, we actually say to disagree with the Right of Freedom of Expression. By instilling more fear, people become more susceptible to being offended without the willingness to forgive. And that’s how the freedom of expression gets strategically undermined by authoritarian systems. Today people are brought to be offended by others just breathing (we can even see it by people wearing masks;-)). It’s more important than ever to stand up for the right to offend, which is implicitly part of the Right of Freedom of Expression. So, have the courage to use the right to offend “sacred” symbols (who says they are sacred?), offend emotions and feelings, offend countries, governments, organizations, as well as political parties, religions, and traditions, and cultures.

Living in a comfort-seeking and fear-based materialistic society, my humanistic approach rejecting salvation-seeking from extrospection is offending people, of course. For me, however, respecting people doesn’t mean accepting their illnesses, victim roles, and unfulfilled potential. If we respected such unhealthy limitations, we’d offend humanity (and life, or god, as you like) as a whole. Indeed, many people live life in the offense to life itself as they put material goods over life. Yes, we justify our physical survival (which in our society doesn’t have much to do with survival rather than with a decadent luxury lifestyle) by not assuming responsibility for the many who suffer hunger, exploitation, and abuse.

I deliberately combine the science of psychology, the wisdom of philosophy and the intuition of art. Art is often very well suited to insulting people, challenging them and opening them up to creative and self-reflective thinking. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to offend or hurt someone who doesn’t care. This is the reason why people often have no interest in the artistic (or spiritual).

Group thinking inhibits critical thinking in favor of a wider human community. For example, religions proclaim to spread unconditional love and the universal truth of their respective God, but feel offended by other religions that believe in another God, who in turn should represent the same unconditional love and absolute truth according to these others. That’s the big lie of hypocrites on both sides. Such belief systems do base on exclusivity to offer fearful people the seeming security of belonging, which, however, they nevertheless never experience (therefore their defensive attitude). But there is a more inclusive way to feel more satisfyingly human. Learn to love truly! Love is the opposite of fear. If you’ve learned to get offended, you’ve learned to love. Love is hard to offend; a heart full of love doesn’t get irritated and offended irrevocably; it doesn’t see the world in terms of threats against one’s ego-assumed superiority, advantages, and privileges over others. Instead, strong minds who dare to seek being offended, not for hate but growth purposes, can find what humans actually are looking for: actualizing themselves through meaningful change toward their best self (which can’t be measured by material success alone, to make that clear once more).

You may have enough “friends” who will tell you what you want to hear and who are happy that you are unsuccessful (because it justifies their own stagnation). If I can’t offend you, I haven’t done my work of serving you decisively. With this in mind, thank you for allowing us to offend each other, not with style, but with substance for learning opportunities for our personal growth, individually and as a human collective.

Dangerous highway

Dangerous highway (M. Sager 2021, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm)

People who are not able to coordinate complex multi-limb movements with their bodies are called disabled and are not allowed to do certain things like, for example, driving a car as it would be too dangerous for others. But people who are unable to coordinate complex multi-perspective situations in their minds are allowed to run organizations and countries.

In contrast to a leg-focused person who forgets about the arm-movement and therefore is realistically considered a risk for driving a vehicle, a single-minded career, for example, of exclusively fighting for one particular group’s interest is likely to be admired. Standing up for one group to succeed over others from a humanitarian perspective, however, is like prioritizing eating over drinking. Thus, the organism of humankind is doomed to die.

Circumthinking

mathias sager awareness intelligence

The ability to produce awareness-intelligent situational behavior involves an individual’s appropriation of the understanding about the intra-past, the inter-present, and the extra-future. It is short-sighted and in every case a mistake to not include all humanity around the whole planet, including the next generations to come. It is narrow-mindedness not to include the broadest scope of care possible, which inevitably bounces back on all life at any time, even right in the here and now.

Too fast is the energy and too broad the conscious intelligence of life to not wholly and instantly contain all vibrations that are produced in any place, through anybody, at any time.

Human thought reaches farther than the sight of the eye.

As thoughts and not the eyes create our circumstances, we should rather be aware of circumthoughts.

Thought encircles all there is, ourselves, our relationships, and anybody imaginable anywhere in the world; a social panorama the eye is incapable of grasping.

Also, thought encompasses eternity of time. We may not see immediate consequences of all thinking in the visible world, but our soul’s quality of inspiration and connectedness highly depends on the collective consciousness whose condition is influenced by all thoughts there are; of course, including ours. Thoughts are determining our spirituality, which has no contentual barriers and therefore is the cosmos of all. Think awareness-intelligently to contribute with full positive capacity and energetic attitude to this spiritual realm, which in turn, is the source and fuel of your and all further life as well.

Our circumthoughts, not circumstances, represent the real context of conscious life.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

Chapter 18/19 – The structure and dimensions of life: The socio-temporal matrix (three tenets of Awareness Intelligence)

Chapter 20 – The Intra-past

Chapter 21 – The Inter-present

Chapter 22 – The Extra-future

Chapter 23 – Full awareness and pure thoughts for coherent meaning

Chapter 24 – The three awareness sparring partners

Chapter 25 – The joy of being, doing, and becoming

Chapter 26 – Learning to die during a lifetime

Chapter 27 – Physical spacelessness and spatial mentalness

Chapter 28 – The law of creation: Intuition, intention, and imagination

Chapter 29 – Energy and the illusionary objectification of life

Chapter 30 – Body, mind, soul

Chapter 31 – Trialistic harmony, not dualistic balance

Chapter 32 – A tripartite world that works in triplets

Chapter 33 – Triadic philosophies and wisdoms

Chapter 34 – Think thrice

Coming next:

Chapter 36 – Unconditional love

— In love for my daughter Natalie and all children of this world. —

Think thrice

mathias sager awareness intelligence chapter 34

We should not only think twice; we need to think thrice. To think about ‘me and others’ is not enough. To only reflect on the ‘now and then’ is sufficient neither. Thinking in couples instead of triples creates instabilities and disables wholesomeness. For illustration, only seeing and having faith, without following through is wasteful meaninglessness. Belief and action alone without seeing clearly what to believe and act upon, are naïve and irresponsible. To see and act upon without faith discourages trust. Therefore,

Awareness Intelligence as the threefold awareness about awareness requires to think thrice.

Thinking three times involves the three Awareness Intelligence pointers in a silent trialogue of wisdom. Instead of a bipolar mind that typically tends to either over- or underthink, a harmonious mind, in contrast, avoids the loud arguing or pausing of a two-sided dialogue and instead synthesizes the whole socio-temporal awareness structure within which right, compassionate thought can arise. The thinking gets liberated thanks to extended awareness, and therefore, allows being also sensitive to intuitive and creatively non-analytical thought. In a second step, thoughts can be selected and integrated according to their awareness-intelligent value. In addition to the reception of intuitive and imaginary input from consciousness, Awareness Intelligence can self-generate thought, the thought that creates the knowing of holiness, wholeness, and wholesomeness. The mastery of the intentional use of such a mighty awareness-structure of the mind lines up thought logically from along the intra-past, through the inter-present, to the extra-future. Thus, life becomes less complicated, simpler, and correspondingly causes less related suffering.

If you want to increase reliability in decision-making, you need three points of fixation respectively three sources for a three-way match. If for a point to be confirmed, you can’t find two other reference points, verification is weak.

Think about a tripod and how its three legs need to interact simultaneously to provide a stable stand. Only by such a well-established awareness, bigger logical arcs of higher importance and sharper thought can be captured.

Whether you want to achieve better thought-through results or to relax mental tension, think thrice the same way as you take three deep breaths as a physical exercise.

Don’t judge too early, only cross the street of thought after having applied a ‘watch-listen-walk’ attitude in your decision-making.  For your own and all others safety, watch the intra-past, listen to the inter-present, and walk the extra-future.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

Chapter 18/19 – The structure and dimensions of life: The socio-temporal matrix (three tenets of Awareness Intelligence)

Chapter 20 – The Intra-past

Chapter 21 – The Inter-present

Chapter 22 – The Extra-future

Chapter 23 – Full awareness and pure thoughts for coherent meaning

Chapter 24 – The three awareness sparring partners

Chapter 25 – The joy of being, doing, and becoming

Chapter 26 – Learning to die during a lifetime

Chapter 27 – Physical spacelessness and spatial mentalness

Chapter 28 – The law of creation: Intuition, intention, and imagination

Chapter 29 – Energy and the illusionary objectification of life

Chapter 30 – Body, mind, soul

Chapter 31 – Trialistic harmony, not dualistic balance

Chapter 32 – A tripartite world that works in triplets

Chapter 33 – Triadic philosophies and wisdoms

Coming next:

Chapter 35 – Circumthinking

— In love for my daughter Natalie and all children of this world. —

Strategic and Systems Thinking & Global Talent Management Strategies

  1. Strategic thinking involves SYSTEM THINKING, reframing (e.g., positive thinking), and reflection (e.g., evaluating one’s reasoning). Strategic thinking is best enabled in unforceful leadership communities and has positive effects on information seeking behavior (Pisapia, J., 2006)
  2. A system thinker (as compared to a linear thinker) is able to improve the performance of a whole by not only improving its parts but by enhancing the RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE KEY PARTS systemwide.
  3. Often, solution approaches are rather reactive and focus on addressing symptoms rather than the underlying problems. CHANGES COMES AT THE LEVEL OF CULTURE, mindset, by regenerating MENTAL MODELS based on (self-) awareness.
  4. Be aware of the heuristics (“rules of thumbs”) in DECISION-MAKING STRATEGIES. For important decision, mental shortcuts may rely too heavily on limited (personally available) and representative (personal image) information.
  5. Although GLOBAL MOBILITY SURVEYS (BGRS, 2016) report the strategic importance of global mobility function for the competitive advantages of large organization, only 10% of the respondents answered that their company’s global mobility strategy is aligned with the broader talent agenda.
  6. Immersion into international assignments/expatriation may foster more deep LEARNING ABOUT THE ‘HOW’ AND ‘WHY’ of how foreign cultures on the otherwise invisible level work. This can be beneficial for individual career capital and talent retention.
  7. Different career trajectories (e.g., dual careers) require a more strategic ALIGNMENT OF LIFETIME STAGES AND CAREER STAGES that are integrated into the organization’s strategic direction.
  8. Cultural tightness (independent of nationality, culture, and legislation for gender equality), in some organizations in some countries, hinders ADVOCATING WOMEN LEADERSHIP (Toh, Leonardelli, 2013)
  9. REVERSE/BACKWARD MENTORING can help to bring together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience, while providing both a possibility to engage and develop (Claire, 2011).
  10. More PROFESSIONAL FREEDOM, MEANINGFUL WORK, and WORK-LIFE BALANCE tend to constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures. The question remains how far these can be achieved in environments of fierce competition and profit requirements.
Course-3-Session-5-Global-Talent-Management-Strategies_v02-compressed

Leadership & (Em-)Power(-ment)

From our ‘80% Percent is Psychology’ session, Wednesday, January 16th, 2019. Thanks all for the great discussions!

  • Force causes counter-force; and transactional leadership likely results in compliance only; It is transformational leadership based on inspiration and collaboration that increases most follower’s involvement and true commitment.
  • It is not the acquisition of power (whether it be positional or personal), but the mindset through which it is employed which determines the nature and effectiveness of leadership.
  • Agile leaders are able to cope with uncertainty and complex issues. Based on self-awareness, they are willing to ask for help and transfer experiences and values to different areas of the business, which is inspiring and developing others too.
  • Representativeness posits that leaders need to demonstrate how they are similar to their followers and then succeed by representing the values of the group. Leaders themselves may be required to adapt to followers to ensure continued representation.
  • Leadership and follower diversity is an important contributor to organization’s success (DuBrin, 2016). Unfortunately, gender stereotypes still cause a preference for men in ‘power’ roles. •Acceptance of inequality doesn’t stem from a passive stance, but rather an active endorsement that allows to justify and perpetuate the status quo.
  • System Justification Theory (SJT) states that an underlying ideology is motivating the justification of social order in a way that contributes to the often-unconscious belief of inferiority most strongly among individuals of underprivileged groups. Although it is a myth that Western Societies are characterized by equality of opportunity, studies found that a majority’s belief in equality helps to justify a meritocratic ideology, i.e., that it is, given we all start with the same possibilities, fair that individual differences are rewarded. The motive to legitimize economic inequality is further blocking critical thinking capacities with severe consequences for the economic and psychological well-being of marginalized persons (Godfrey & Wolf, 2015).
  • It’s a good description for Authentic Leadership too: “Your true character is most accurately measured by how you treat those who can do ‘nothing’ for you.” – Mother Teresa
Course-2-Session-6-Leadership-Power-and-Influence_v02-compressed

To be free requires freedom to learn

Thankful for another night being free to learn.

mathias-sager-freedom to learn

 

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The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. – Carl Rogers

10 takeaways from the 80% is Psychology session ‘Learning and motivation’. Tokyo, November 7, 2018.  

Presentation and discussions:

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Beyond the brain (Takeaways from 80% is Psychology)

Takeaways from our event on October 24th, 2018. Thanks for the discussions. Please see also https://www.facebook.com/colorfulgrowth/

Course 1 Session 4 Brain and Memory in Learning_v04_TAKEAWAYS

1.Know that the brain has different chemical processes for addictive pleasure experiences (neurotransmitter is dopamine) versus more long-term, empathic, and self-sufficient happiness-related behavior (neurotransmitter is serotonin).

2.Reduce distractions, especially to avoid over-dependence (addiction) to technology and social networks that interrupt your attention and learning.

3.Increase for how long you are able to stay offline and/or exclusively focused for better learning results.

4.Train your brain through exercising, diet, sleep, and alternative learning strategies.

5.Recognize how your consciousness requires the joint operation of brain, body, and the world. Brain activities may be necessary, but not sufficient preconditions for human behavior.

6.Experiment with stretching your sense of time and thinking of cyclical time. The soul/spirit wants to expand. As the earth is not a plate where you can fall off the edges, time may not be a simple line with birth and life ‘abysses.’

7.Do not fear the future. The brain takes even distantly thought threats for real and causes already now suffering, anxiety, and depression.

8.Do not fear loss. If we are only our physical brain, we don’t need to fear any regrets or pain after death. If there is something more permanent than our brain, death isn’t an existential threat to fear either.

9.Use intuition, imagination, and intention to ‘real-life check’ what really counts in everything you learn: Is it meaningful, unlimited, and purposeful? If not, it’s not worth it.

10.Read to activate your brain, increase the working memory’s capacity, and expand attention span.

 

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Social Learning & Developing a Growth Mindset (7 Takeaways from 80% is Psychology)

Takeaways from our event on October 24th, 2018. Thanks for the discussions. Please see also https://www.facebook.com/colorfulgrowth/

mathias sager psychology social learning growth mindset

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Philosophy of Learning TAKEAWAYS 2018/10/17 (80% is Psychology Series)

Takeaways from our event on October 17th, 2018. Thanks for the discussions. For photos, etc., please see https://www.facebook.com/colorfulgrowth/

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Philosophy of Learning (80% is Psychology Series)

Takeaways from our event on October 10th, 2018. Thanks for the discussions.

10 Takeaways Session 01 1.png

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What do younger talents want?

mathias-sager-youth-young-talent-china-employee

Summary. Younger employees around the world tend to prefer more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life in their work. Asking only older senior HR managers might not provide sufficient insight into the generation Y’s thinking though. Listening directly to the younger employees is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether. The youth’s resourcefulness, e.g., in digital media, could be used for backward/reverse mentoring to engage senior management more. Offering millennials more short-term job and internship opportunities can represent a win-win situation to gain experience from both an organizational and young talent perspective. Some examples from a Chinese perspective are presented. 


Work ethics and quality of life values

Many of the so-called gold-collar workers (GCW) who demonstrate qualities such as high problem-solving abilities in challenging environments but are also used to extraordinary financial compensation, started to quit their positions in prominent Chinese cities to seek improved work-life balance, including, e.g., increased learning and development opportunities [1]. Today’s younger generations in China, while navigating the collectivist society, can also require, even from authorities, more radical openness and honesty, especially in case of perceived unfairness [2]. Researchers found that more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life balance constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures [3]. Varying work values still need to be differentiated between even various countries in East Asia itself. For example, the Chinese tend to be more individualistic, while the Japanese are more risk-averse, and the Koreans are often found somewhat in the middle [4].

Insight-led Global Talent Management (GTM) and backward/reverse mentoring

Best practice Global Talent Management (GTM) in Asia is best led by insight into economic and cultural context [2], including the specific understanding of the youth. When re-assessing HR practices, consulting only with older senior management personnel might not provide sufficient and accurate insight into the thinking of the generation Y employees [5]. A demographic shift also takes place in China where the proportion of the population of over sixty-five years is growing, which is resulting in a shrinking workforce with implication for how to manage the pool of younger talents [6]. Cooperative re-negotiation of employee structures and roles within firms might be needed. The Gallup’s global employee engagement database reveals that two-thirds of Asian CEO’s are not engaged and often feel underdeveloped [7]. Bringing together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience in a kind of backward/reverse mentoring would offer an exciting approach [2].

Short and long-term view for win-win situations

Millennials often plan differently for their future, meaning that they seek more short-term employment (i.e., of one to two years length) to gain experience at the beginning of their career [8]. Consequently, talent management practices have to deal with more employee turnover. However, especially when talent acquisition is challenged due to a lack of matching organizational demand and graduate skills, short-term assignments might offer a win-win situation overall. This is the reason why both firms and candidates see internships as an ideal avenue at professional career start [9].

Empowering the youth

For the youth being able to bring their potential to the table, managers self-identified their central role as empowering their talents in furthering self-esteem and self-promotion capability [10]. For GTM, listening to the younger generation and consider their expectations is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether [3].

References

[1] Roongrerngsuke, S., & Liefooghe, A. (2013). Attracting Gold-Collar Workers: Comparing Organizational Attractiveness and Work-Related Values across Generations in China, India and Thailand. Asia Pacific Business Review, 19(3), 337-355.

[2] Claire, M. (2011). Lessons from the East: next generation HR in Asia. Strategic HR Review, (4), 11. doi:10.1108/14754391111140954

[3] Walk, M., Handy, F., & Schinnenburg, H. (2013). What do talents want? Work expectations in India, China, and Germany. Zeitschrift Fur Personalforschung, 27(3), 251-278.

[4] Froese, F. J. (2013). Work values of the next generation of business leaders in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul. Asia Pacific Journal Of Management, 30(1), 297-315. doi:10.1007/s10490-011-9271-7

[5] Lynton, N., & Beechler, S. (2012). Using Chinese Managerial Values to Win the War for Talent. Asia Pacific Business Review, 18(4), 567-585.

[6] Jackson, K. (2017). Demographic shift: implications for employment policy development in the Asia-Pacific. Asia Pacific Business Review, 23(5), 738-742. doi:10.1080/13602381.2017.1295558

[7] Ratanjee, V. (2014). Bridging the Leadership Gap in Asia. Gallup Business Journal, 4.

[8] Groden, C. (2016). Five Things You Can Do to Attract Millennial Talent. Fortune International (Asia), 173(4), 182.

[9] Rose, P. (2013). Internships: Tapping into China’s next generation of talent. Asia-Pacific Journal Of Cooperative Education, 14(2), 89-98.

[10] Middleton, J. (2012). secrets to tapping the talent in young Pacific people. Human Resources Magazine, 17(1), 34-35.

Global Talent Management (GTM) in China: Between Globalization and Tradition

China global talent management

Summary. Although multi-national enterprises (MNEs) in China are looking for talents who can balance domestic and international challenges, the evolving education and Global Talent Management (GTM) systems struggle with the timely identification, development, and retention of a workforce that is matching the required demand of new and future skills. Respect for the Chinese culture and access to so-called guanxi business networks shaped by collectivist cultural values are needed to access business opportunities. On the other hand, the opening up of secretive circles and empowering students and employees for more self-determined and problem-based learning could provide avenues to close the gap between theory and practice as well as more equality in talent development, hopefully resulting in increased entrepreneurship and innovation.

Continue reading Global Talent Management (GTM) in China: Between Globalization and Tradition

Global Mindset in Japan: A Critical Evaluation

mathias-sager-global-mindset-japan

Summary. This article critically sheds light on current socio-economic challenges for Japan and the need for developing a global mindset for companies in a globalizing world. With little chance for getting a management position before the age of 40 and confronted with dominating domestic demand for a monolingual male workforce, Japan’s youth gets blamed for being ‘insular’ and individually responsible for the lack of global mindsets. To improve global success, Japanese HR practices’ global talent management programs have to address the need for highly skilled and globally minded talents in Japan and their expatriates. Japan-specific, step-by-step, and creative alternative solutions may be required to make it happen.


 

Japan’s current unclear development of its role in global economy comes from various challenges such as two decades lasting economic stagnation [1] and increased competition from China and India [2]. Salary men sweat devotedly for the big companies and government agencies for the return of stable careers, while their wives take care of raising the next generation guaranteeing the continuation of the system that has become antithetical to fast-paced global changes [2]. A global mindset is needed for many Japanese organization, and there are calls for a related shift in education ([3]; [4]). However, most Japanese companies favor domestic monolingual male workforce [5], which informs higher education in the way that fewer and fewer students in Japan envision to study abroad [6]. The collectivist Japanese culture might emphasize that trend as the unity of family raises expectations for children not to stay away from their family and take care of their parents [7].

Japanese see the development of a global mindset as an individual rather than an organizational burden. Due to seniority-based promotion systems, only 9% of Japanese managers are below the age of 40, compared to 62% in India and 76% in China [1]. Ironically, the lack of talents with global mindsets has not been associated with strict hiring practices, bigoted immigration policies, or with conservative firm cultures but instead the ‘insular’ young people, the so-called ‘uchimuki,’ are blamed for keeping the island inwardly retreated [8].

Japanese HRM practices’ global talent management initiatives have been reported to not being suitable to attract sufficient talent with a global mindset for multinational enterprises [9]. English in Japan is still treated as belonging to the US or UK rather than being a global language [8]. HR brokers until today have mostly focused on low-skilled short-term immigration [10]. Therefore, not surprisingly, Japan ranks last behind all major industrialized nations regarding the percentage of foreign academics and engineers employed [11].

A trend of an increasing number of Japanese self-initiated expatriate entrepreneurs to developing countries in Asia indicates the presence of not only entrepreneurial but also global mindsets as related to social and sustainability missions [12]. Japanese multinationals, however, comparatively have difficulties to go international with their often highly successful local businesses in which the home-country expatriates obviously need to re-assess their globalization abilities [13]. For example, Japanese business men are used to relationship-based marketing [14] and would need to adapt to a more need-based style when selling abroad [7]. Maybe hybrid forms of globalization activities, developed through Japan-based HR training can advance the integration of cultural differences to promote global success [1]. Anti-globalization sentiments after the nuclear plant accident in Fukushima in 2011 and perceptions of unfairly exploitative global businesses may require an alternative kind of globalization as happening in the arts that, e.g., builds on alternative smaller destinations [15]. Step-by-step quick wins could increase confidence in more long-term investment into global mindsets to improve results from globalization [16].

References

[1] Ananthram, S., Pick, D., & Issa, T. (2012). Antecedents of a Global Mindset: A Mixed Method Analysis of Indian, Chinese and Japanese Managers. Contemporary Management Research, 8(4), 305-329.

[2] Ananthram, S., Grainger, R., & Tominaga, H. (2014). Constituents of a global mindset: an empirical study with Japanese managers. Japan Studies Review, 91-114.

[3] Li, S. (2014). The Conversion of Homogeneous State to Global Society: The Changes in Japan from a Higher Education Perspective. Procedia Social And Behavioral Sciences, 140(1), 553.

[4] Danielewicz-Betz, A., & Kawaguchi, T. (2014). Preparing Engineering Students for Global Workplace Communication: Changing the Japanese Mindsets. International Journal Of Engineering Pedagogy, 4(1), 55-68. doi:10.3991/ijep.v4i1.3297

[5] Kobayashi, Y. (2013). Global English Capital and the Domestic Economy: The Case of Japan from the 1970s to early 2012. Journal Of Multilingual And Multicultural Development, 34(1), 1-13.

[6] Normile, D. (2015). Japan looks to instill global mindset in grads. Science, 347(6225), 937.

[7] Michaeli, M., Lazo, A., Thao Phung, N., Moussavi, M., & Steinberg, H. (2017). Global Cultural and Accounting Difference between Japan and the USA. Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings Of The Academy Of Accounting & Financial Studies (AAFS), 22(1), 22.

[8] Burgess, C. (2015). To Globalise or Not to Globalise? “Inward-Looking Youth” as Scapegoats for Japan’s Failure to Secure and Cultivate “Global Human Resources”. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 13(4), 487-507.

[9] Furusawa, M., & Brewster, C. (2015). The bi-cultural option for global talent management: the Japanese / Brazilian Nikkeijin example. Journal Of World Business, 50(1), 133-143. doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2014.02.005

[10] Conrad, H., & Meyer-Ohle, H. (2018). Brokers and the Organization of Recruitment of ‘Global Talent’ by Japanese Firms–A Migration Perspective. Social Science Japan Journal, 21(1), 67. doi:10.1093/ssjj/jyx032

[11] Oishi, N. (2013). Migration and competitiveness in science and engineering in Japan. Migration Letters, 10(2), 228-244.

[12] Yokoyama, K., & Birchley, S. L. (2018). Mindset and Social Entrepreneurship: Japanese Self-initiated Expatriate Entrepreneurs in Cambodia. Journal Of Entrepreneurship And Innovation In Emerging Economies, 4(1), 68.

[13] Black, J. S., & Morrison, A. J. (2012). The Japanese Global Leadership Challenge: What It Means for the Rest of the World. Asia Pacific Business Review, 18(4), 551-566.

[14] Yang, L., & Peter R.J., T. (2008). The link between cultural value systems and strategic marketing : Unlocking the mindset of Japanese and South Korean managers. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, (1), 62. doi:10.1108/13527600810848836

[15] Mōri, Y. (2015). New collectivism, participation and politics after the East Japan Great Earthquake. World Art, 5(1), 167.

[16] Yamada, K. (2016). Financing Sustainable Development with Enhanced Domestic Resource Mobilization: Transitional Role of International Cooperation. Asia-Pacific Development Journal, 23(2), 61-80.

How culture shapes different types of empathy

mathias-sager-culture-empathy

It is useful to differentiate between sympathy and empathy as the basis to also understand better how culture itself (amongst other factors) shapes cultural empathy. This is important also to define and assess more subtle aspects of empathy as it becomes increasingly imperative in education and disciplines such as global talent management.


Empathy (like sympathy and compassion) is related to human emotions as a reaction to other individuals’ plights [1]. Empathy is considered crucial in motivating pro-social attitudes and actions as well as moral development and involves research from various interdependent fields such as biology, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy (Mason & Bartal, 2010). Science is differentiating affective empathy, i.e., the experience of others’ emotional state, and cognitive empathy, i.e., the apprehension of others’ emotions [3].

Empathy as a concept conflates with similar ideas like ‘sympathy’ [4]. A casual comparison describes sympathy as “to feel with,” while empathy involves “to feel for” others. More specifically, there is no need for a person experiencing sympathy to simulate the other’s state of mind as would be required for practicing empathy [5]. Batson (1991) defined empathy as a category of responses to another “that are more other-focused than self-focused, including feelings of sympathy, compassion, tenderness, and the like” ([6] p. 86).

Because the emotion of empathy determines, besides reasoning, how ethical decisions are made, it is vital to acknowledge its key role in human development and professions, such as, for example, journalism, which strongly influences how people related to empathy [7]. Despite increased globalization and the ubiquitous of information about others’ plight, a tendency of ‘sympathy-without-empathy’ represents the reality of globalized individualism [8]. Also, how the ability of empathy is individually employed should be assessed as well, as empathy can be for the good or the bad, e.g., not only for help, but for manipulation, bullying, and the exertion of cruelty where it harms others most [9].

Culture shapes how empathy is experienced and communicated as it is true for any emotions, which always are impacted by a culture’s particular social intricacies. Hence, the expression of sympathy and empathy require a language that is sensitive to support the maintenance of both the sender’s own and the receiver’s identity respectfully [10]. For example, it is essential to understand how cultural background moderates empathy. For example, people in East Asian collectivist societies that emphasize interpersonal harmony, tend to show increased empathic accuracy (while the level of empathic concern tends to be lower though) compared to more individualist cultures such as the UK [11]. The communication of distress, as well as sympathy responses, are both stronger when involving narratives of somatic experiences (e.g., fatigue) as compared to cognitive symptoms (e.g., negative thoughts), but only among Korean and not US study participants [12]. In another study, American individuals were found to focus less on negative aspects respectively avoid more negative affect compared to Germans when forming sympathy for other’s negative experience and suffering [13]. Russian people have, as a consequence of how the culture frames empathy, a more apparent preference for experiencing empathy more exclusively for people whom they know personally [1].

Education on cross-cultural empathy for global talent management is essential. However, even within any one nation socio-cultural differences might suggest a need for cosmopolitan education to develop empathy between all co-citizens [14]. The same might, of course, be true for between the employees in a single country too.

References

[1] Gladkova, A. (2010). Sympathy, compassion, and empathy in English and Russian: A linguistic and cultural analysis. Culture And Psychology, 16(2), 267-285. doi:10.1177/1354067X10361396

[2] Mason, P., & Bartal, I. B. (2010). How the social brain experiences empathy: Summary of a gathering. Social Neuroscience, 5(2), 252-256. doi:10.1080/17470911003589085

[3] Wang, Y., Wen, Z., Fu, Y., & Zheng, L. (2017). Psychometric properties of a Chinese version of the Measure of Empathy and Sympathy. Personality & Individual Differences, 119168-174. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2017.07.019

[4] Haase, F. (2012). Empathy vs. Evidence in Rhetorical Speech: Contrastive Cultural Studies in ‘Empathy’ as Framework of Speech Communication and Its Tradition in Cultural History. Ethos: Felsefe Ve Toplumsal Bilimlerde Diyaloglar (Dialogues In Philosophy And Social Sciences), 5(2), 16-35.

[5] Halpern, F. (2018). Closeness Through Unreliability: Sympathy, Empathy, and Ethics in Narrative Communication. Narrative, 26(2), 125-145.

[6] Batson, C. D. (1991). The altruism question: Towards a social social– psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

[7] King, C. (2017). ‘Gays Are the New Jews’: Homophobic Representations in African Media versus Twitterverse Empathy. At The Interface / Probing The Boundaries, (92), 193-216. doi:10.1163/9789004360846_010

[8] James, P., & Scerri, A. (2012). Globalizing Consumption and the Deferral of a Politics of Consequence. Globalizations, 9(2), 225-240. doi:10.1080/14747731.2012.658249

[9] Fairbairn, G. J. (2017). Reflecting On Empathy. At The Interface / Probing The Boundaries, (92), 61-83. doi:10.1163/9789004360846_005

[10] Sheikhan, S. A. (2017). Rapport Management toward Expressing Sympathy in Persian. Linguistik Online, 83(4), 101-114. doi:10.13092/lo.83.378

[11] Atkins, D., Uskul, A. K., & Cooper, N. R. (2016). Culture shapes empathic responses to physical and social pain. Emotion, 16(5), 587-601. doi:10.1037/emo0000162

[12] Choi, E. )., Chentsova-Dutton, Y. )., & Parrott, W. ). (2016). The effectiveness of somatization in communicating distress in Korean and American cultural contexts. Frontiers In Psychology, 7(MAR), doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00383

[13] Koopmann-Holm, B., & Tsai, J. L. (2014). Focusing on the negative: Cultural differences in expressions of sympathy. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 107(6), 1092-1115. doi:10.1037/a0037684

[14] Culp, J. (2018). Internationalizing Nussbaum’s model of cosmopolitan democratic education. Ethics & Education, 13(2), 172-190. doi:10.1080/17449642.2018.1439308

Cultural intelligence (CQ)

mathias-sager-cultural-intelligence copy

This article describes the relationships of cultural intelligence (CQ) with other types of intelligence, motivation, and leadership behavior. Mindfulness provides for a conceptualization of intercultural competence. CQ is a useful competency for acculturation challenges as required for expatriate talents in multinational enterprises. People used to minority status, people from more diverse environments, and those with higher CQ experience more positive acculturation and psychological well-being. For Global Talent Management CQ is essential as a predictor of performance and creativity and therefore increasingly used as assessment tool also for transformational leadership styles.

Emotional and social intelligence, motivation, and leadership behavior

Human capital is the major sub-factor of intellectual capital that contains a measurement of “sharing and reporting knowledge” [1], indicating that social competencies are acquired capabilities on the basis of emotional intelligence [2]. Cultural intelligence (CQ) might be essential to enable sharing across cultures as it means the ability to adapt to a new culture through open-mindedness and judgment-free respect for others [3]. CQ moderates emotional intelligence and leadership behavior [4]. Indeed, to understand emotional intelligence, cross-cultural differences need to be understood too [5]. As emphasized in the theory of emotional and social intelligence competencies (ESC), the motivation to make use of the competencies is vital to consider too [2].

Mindfulness, acculturation, and psychological well-being

Mindfulness might provide for a comprehensive conceptualization of intercultural competence as a cultural sensitivity that is put in action as a result of reflection [6]. Cross-cultural intelligence can be taught through different respectively the combination of methods such as lectures, literature, exchange sessions, and most effectively field trips [7]. CQ is also a significant contributor to career capital [8], potentially not only across geographies, but also in navigating company cultures [9]. Direct inter-cultural contact impacts both cultures involved, a process that is called acculturation [10]. The challenges that come with such foreign cultural influences might be a reason why it is often difficult to find talents who are willing to live abroad. People used to minority status, people from more diverse environments, and those with higher CQ experience more positive acculturation and psychological well-being [11].

Performance improvement and transformational leadership

Assessing CQ is highly useful for global talent management as there is a proven positive correlation with job performance [12]. Thanks to higher-quality cross-cultural social exchanges, knowledge hiding, on the one hand, can be decreased and creativity, on the other hand, improved [13]. It is, therefore, not surprising that culturally intelligent global leaders are high in demand [3]. An impressing percentage of 92% (out of 100) of companies who invested into improving CQ increased revenues within one and a half years [14]. Multinational organizations’ talent management functions fare well with using CQ as a selection tool [15]. Social intelligence and CQ also predict effective transformational leadership styles [16] as it allows the appropriate adaption of behavior to cultural differences [3].

References

[1] Wang, C. (2007). Prioritization of human capital measurement indicators using fuzzy AHP. Expert Systems With Applications, 32(4), 1100-1112.

[2] Emmerling, R. J., & Boyatzis, R. E. (2012). Emotional and social intelligence competencies: cross cultural implications. Cross Cultural Management-An International Journal, 19(1), 4-18.

[3] Ramsey, J. R., Rutti, R. M., Lorenz, M. P., Barakat, L. L., & Sant’anna, A. S. (2017). Developing Global Transformational Leaders. Journal Of World Business, 52(4), 461-473. doi:http://dx.doi.org.liverpool.idm.oclc.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2016.06.002

[4] Alon, I., & Higgins, J. M. (2005). Global leadership success through emotional and cultural intelligences. Business Horizons, 48(6), 501-512. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2005.04.003

[5] Bangun, Y. R., & Iswari, K. R. (2015). Searching for Emotional Intelligence Measurement in Indonesia Context with Innovative Approach. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 169(The 6th Indonesia International Conference on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Small Business (IICIES 2014), 337-345. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.318

[6] Tuleja, E. A. (2014). Developing Cultural Intelligence for Global Leadership through Mindfulness. Journal Of Teaching In International Business, 25(1), 5-24.

[7] Putranto, N. R., Gustomo, A., & Ghazali, A. (2015). Analysis of Cross Cultural Management Course Pedagogy Methods in Developing Students’ Cultural Intelligence. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 169(The 6th Indonesia International Conference on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Small Business (IICIES 2014), 354-362. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.320

[8] Cao, L., Hirschi, A., & Deller, J. (2012). Self-initiated expatriates and their career success. Journal Of Management Development, 31(2), 159. doi:10.1108/02621711211199494

[9] Earley, P. C., & Mosakowski, E. (2004). Cultural Intelligence. Harvard Business Review, 82(10), 139.

[10] de Figueiredo, J. M. (2013). Prevention of demoralization in prolonged bicultural conflict and interaction: the role of cultural receptors I – description of a natural experiment. The International Journal Of Social Psychiatry, 59(5), 419-430. doi:10.1177/0020764012462660

[11] Volpone, S. D., Marquardt, D. J., Casper, W. J., & Avery, D. R. (2018). Minimizing Cross-Cultural Maladaptation: How Minority Status Facilitates Change in International Acculturation. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 103(3), 249-269. doi:10.1037/ap10000273

[12] Daher, N. (2015). EMOTIONAL AND CULTURAL INTELLIGENCES AS AN ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR RECRUITING, SELECTING AND TRAINING INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES. International Journal Of Business & Public Administration, 12(1), 167.

[13] Bogilović, S., Černe, M., & Škerlavaj, M. (2017). Hiding behind a mask? Cultural intelligence, knowledge hiding, and individual and team creativity. European Journal Of Work And Organizational Psychology, 26(5), 710-723. doi:10.1080/1359432X.2017.1337747

[14] Roberts, L. G. (2010). Looking beneath the tip of the iceberg: cultural intelligence in international education. International Schools Journal, 30(1), 38.

[15] Jyoti, J., & Kour, S. (2017). Factors affecting cultural intelligence and its impact on job performance Role of cross-cultural adjustment, experience and perceived social support. Personnel Review, 46(4), 767-791.

[16] Robert, E., & Radha, S. (2012). Measuring social and emotional intelligence competencies in the Indian context. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, (1), 30. doi:10.1108/13527601211195619

 

 

Developing Cultural Empathy: Perspective Taking

mathias-sager-culture_empathy_perspective

This article reflects on example biases that could impact one’s intercultural behavior and decision making and how the role of the media is shaping ideas about cultures. Finally, specifics of the European culture are analyzed as relevant for global talent management issues.

Culture is an unconsciously learned way of thinking and living of a particular group of people that reinforces that worldview through its in-group similarity [1]. To change ‘cultural DNA’ requires time, although the term refers to a psychological instinct built through the adaption of societal norms rather than through a genetic constitution. Different environmental challenges brought up intellectual orientations, which cannot be judged; they are just different. While empathy is considered to allow understanding between people, the bridges built between some may be the boundaries for others. This risks to cement in- and out-group hierarchies [2]. Besides empathy, enhanced critical thinking abilities are necessary to unveil moral subjectivity and contribute to increased cross-cultural understanding [3].

Humans everywhere have the same desires, fears, and motivations [4]. Cultural differences shouldn’t be judged but seen rather relative [5] and therefore not to be blamed [1]. Judgments can unavoidably happen from unconscious biases triggering stereotypical exaggeration, or simplification out of context that result in prejudices. These are not immutable though in the sense that between bias and action critical thinking was not possible [6]. People have a psychological tendency to accredit more humanness to oneself than to others [7] The level of empathy is predictive of the strength of this in-/out-group bias [8]. Research found that more collectivist cultures show stronger empathy for in-group members [9]. If in an individualist culture, an individualistic mindset is activated though, all but the self may be considered as out-group members [10]. Contact with other cultures is the best means to anticipate such bias [11] and relationships with outgroups potentially reduces prejudice [12].

Be it for peace between countries or the functioning of multi-national organizations, intergroup empathy has become an increasingly important global challenge [4]. How balanced the media selects and presents its news is playing a vital role in shaping the cross-cultural understanding of individual, group, and societal identities. Media literacy, therefore, is a key strategy to develop cultural perspective-taking [13].

Despite Europe’s diverse composition of nations, the continent’s genetic base is much less variable than that of many other global regions. Europe is (to stay with the example) characterized by high in-group equality, which, on the other hand, may also degenerate into out-group domination. European leaders tend to be inclusive [4]. Indeed, German SME’s, for example, include all or most of the employees in Talent Management practices, which is in contrast to typical multinational enterprises [14]. Egalitarian attitudes within Europe cause leaders to backup leadership processes with bureaucratic rules that come with a loss in speed compared to other cultures. The European focus on individual rights, creativity and innovation, professional relationships, and the use of evidence-based data (in comparison to more intuitive thinking) might be an asset for fostering objectivity in global talent management practices [4]. This is important for talent-based economies as found in Western Europe [15] to remain competitive in the sourcing of global talent [16].

References

[1] Williams, T. R. (2013). Examine Your LENS: A Tool for Interpreting Cultural Differences. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal Of Study Abroad, 22148-165.

[2] Hollan, D. (2012). Author reply: The definition and morality of empathy. Emotion Review, 4(1), 83. doi:10.1177/1754073911421396

[3] Murray, J. W. (2015). Critical Thinking Activities and the Enhancement of Ethical Awareness: An Application of a “Rhetoric of Disruption” to the Undergraduate General Education Classroom. Open Review Of Educational Research, 2(1), 240-258.

[4] Bains, G. (2015). Cultural DNA: The psychology of globalization. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

[5] Gareis, E. (2005). Relativism versus Universalism: Developing a Personal Philosophy. Communication Teacher, 19(2), 39-43.

[6] Harris, W. T. (2010). Ending racism starts with accepting bias: bias is inevitable, racism is not. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/ blog/colorstruck/201005/ending-racism-starts-accepting-bias

[7] Park, J., Haslam, N., Kashima, Y., & Norasakkunkit, V. (2016). Empathy, culture and self-humanising: Empathising reduces the attribution of greater humanness to the self more in Japan than Australia. International Journal Of Psychology, 51(4), 301-306.

[8] Krumhuber, E. G., Swiderska, A., Tsankova, E., Kamble, S. V., & Kappas, A. (2015). Real or Artificial? Intergroup Biases in Mind Perception in a Cross-Cultural Perspective. Plos One, 10(9), e0137840. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137840

[9] Chenbo, W., Bing, W., Yi, L., Xinhuai, W., & Shihui, H. (2015). Challenging emotional prejudice by changing self-concept: priming independent self-construal reduces racial in-group bias in neural responses to other. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 10(9), 1195-1201. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv005

[10] Jiang, C., Hou, Y., Han, S., & Varnum, M. W. (2014). Distinct effects of self-construal priming on empathic neural responses in Chinese and Westerners. Social Neuroscience, 9(2), 130-138.

[11] Dopierała, A., Jankowiak-Siuda, K., & Boski, P. (2017). Empathy gap – what do we know about empathizing with others′ pain?. Polish Psychological Bulletin, Vol 48, Iss 1, Pp 111-117 (2017), (1), 111. doi:10.1515/ppb-2017-0014

[12] Inzlicht, M., Gutsell, J. N., & Legault, L. (2012). Mimicry reduces racial prejudice. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(1), 361-365. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.06.007

[13] Cole-Adams, J. (2013). Developing Intercultural Understanding with Difference Differently. Ethos, 21(1), 25-28.

[14] Festing, M., Schaefer, L., & Scullion, H. (2013). Talent management in medium-sized German companies: an explorative study and agenda for future research. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 24(9), 1872-1893.

[15] Oshri, I., & Ravishankar, M. (2014). On the attractiveness of the UK for outsourcing services. Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, (1), 18. doi:10.1108/SO-11-2013-0022

[16] Anil, K. (2006). STRATEGIES FOR GLOBAL R&D. Research Technology Management, (2), 48.