Understanding different cultures ( the Lewis Model)

With the world which keeps mixing everyday, intercontinental dealing, intercultural relationship, interracial relationship, we need to comprehend how other cultures, how other part of the world operate in order to minimize misunderstanding and maximize the potential of a fruitful relationship ( whether business, friendship or romantic) between different culture.
As we all know, even in the same country, depending upon the part where one is from, the way of living, thinking, behaving even eating can be different from another part of the country, even within the same city, neighborhood shaped people’ mentality. People face different types of struggles, different type of reality, different exposures to life. Therefore, our comprehension of things, our views of life will always be different. Let’s add to the fact that we have different views of life but yet, life keeps moving, life does not stop for us to catch up with others, therefore, there is this constant transformation of minds, of views, of thoughts. As it is said, we never go to bed the same person and we never wake up the same person since we are constantly revising and adjusting our views to the ever changing world.
The lewis model ( which came from Lewis a man who traveled on every single continent and who have to been to every single country in the world, came with a model to help others understand or have an idea of what to expect when traveling to a foreign land. it is widely believed that his assessment of different culture is quite correct. Even though our world is evolving and the world is ever changing, we might change our views, our way of interacting but yet, we tend to hold on to some ways of thinking and reacting that are deeply embedded into our system, therefore, one can use his assessment as a general guideline on interacting with other cultures.
In his assessment, he divided countries into 3 main groups:
The Linear-actives: are those who plan, schedule, organize, pursue action according to plan, do one thing at a time. they tend to be task oriented. they act according to facts, not on emotion. Just to mention a couple of examples, we have Germans and Swiss who are part this group.
The Multi-actives: Are those who are lively, they do many things at once, planning their priorities not according to a schedule, but rather according to their impulses, to their whims, they tend to be emotional and not as fact based as the Linear-active. Just to name a few, we have Latin Americans, Arabs, Africans who are members of this group.
The Reactives: Are those that prioritize courtesy and respect, listening quietly and calmly as well as  reacting carefully to the other side’s actions. They tend to be very careful and considerate. As examples, we have Chinese, Japanese and Finns are part of  this group.

 

To help you have a better understanding, below is a better explanation of each group.
Linear-active
Multi-active
Reactive
Talks half of the time
Talks most of the time
Listens most of the time
Does one thing at a time
Does multiple things at a time
React to other’s actions
Plans step by step
Plans outline only
Look at general principles
Polite but direct, confront with logic
Emotional, confront with emotion
Polite, indirect, avoid confrontation
Jobs oriented
People oriented
Very people oriented
Stick and follow facts
follow emotions
Stick to their words
Results oriented, stick to agenda, decisive
Relationship oriented, Goes back and forth
Harmony oriented, Like face to face meeting
restrained body language
unrestrained body language
subtle body language
 
We can use and perhaps incorporate The Lewis model into our everyday dealings with other cultures, since it helps us better comprehend what to expect from others.
Someone who is Linear active might not expect or even find a person who multi-active very slow and unreliable as well as the multi-active might find the linear-active very pushy and commanding. Each person might find flaws in others whether in business dealings or personal relationships but there is a need to comprehend the way others think and react in order for us to achieve our goals while interacting with others.
There is no society without communication, there is no interaction without communication. Mastering the act of communication can help us avoid or minimize misunderstanding that can lead to deeper issues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s