- A Japanese (MTW) manager gives an order to US American workers (MLK) and is annoyed to find it disputed and resented. The manager begins to distrust the subordinates and their motivation.
- A Swedish (MLK) manager makes a request of her Turkish (MTW) subordinates and finds that they carry it out so literally, “without thinking,” that the desired results are not achieved. The manager accuses them of malicious obedience.
- A Filipino seaman (MTW) is being disciplined by his Norwegian first officer (MLK). The seaman remains silent as the first officer pushes for an explanation or apology. The first officer thinks the seaman does not get the message, doesn't care about the situation, or is guilty of even more than originally suspected. To make matters worse, the Norwegian first officer publically belabors the point and raises his voice with the Filipino seaman who doesn't appear to get the message, admit fault, or apologize. Resentment builds up in the subordinate. He stops communicating and becomes ineffective at his job for the rest of the voyage.
- A Canadian consultant (MLK) while being gently criticized by her Indonesian client (MIW) argues in her own defense. The client sees the consultant as rude and unteachable and, therefore, incompetent.
- A young British data processing trainer (MLK) is working with a group of Sri Lankan trainees (MTW). Because the trainees ask no questions, the trainer assumes they have grasped all that she has said.
- A newly arrived Swiss manufacturing manager (MLK) consults his Pakistani assembly line workers (MTW) about the steps he should take to install a quality inspecting system. They are embarrassed for him because it seems that he does not know how to do his job. They are reluctant to make suggestions. He sees them as unthinking and uncooperative. The transcultural leader may have to employ both MTW and MLK communication skills to create congruent messages and objectives. Congruence means not only that two people settle on the same meaning or direction, but also that they are confident that this has actually taken place. This shows up as a certain degree of comfort with themselves and each other, some assurance that they are on the same wavelength.
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