Psychologists Rasmussen and Sieck offer sound advice and share pertinent anecdotes within a well-organized framework, but their efforts are occasionally redundant. For instance, one of the takeaways from chapter 7 is to ask open-ended questions. That is undoubtedly an effective method for sussing out a situation, but most readers will have come across that same suggestion elsewhere. The men and women interviewed provide vivid stories, but at times, the authors provide too many examples in driving home a particular point. One of the “key points” that ends chapter 7 is to “ask ‘why’ to disentangle weird behavior and puzzling interactions,” but the whole of chapter 8 then focuses on “figuring out why people do what they do.”
The book is geared to military and national security officials in hot spots around the globe, but its useful suggestions can be applied by anyone involved in high-stakes situations that cross cultural lines. Rasmussen and Sieck’s expertise in cognition, culture, and collaboration is clear from their guide’s organization, the personal narratives it collects, and the lessons it teaches.
Takeaway: This is the perfect guide to cross-cultural communication for those working in government and diplomacy positions, multinational corporations, and NGOs.
Great for fans of David C. Thomas’s Cultural Intelligence, Simon Dolan’s Cross-Cultural Competence.
Design and typography: B+
Marketing copy: A-