By Nathalie Halcrow, content Creator/Editor, RW3 CultureWizard | Oct 4, 2018 5:10:02 afternoon | Cross-Cultural Communication


A story from my parents’ engagement party provides Formality’s cross-cultural differences really clear.

You are watching: At the informal level of culture, rules are

My grandparents ~ above the French side space very, verytraditional. Mine grandparents top top the American side – not so much. I thrived up in a an extremely liberal household in California, yet there was constantly an infusion of Formal expectations from the French side of the family. My parents’ engagement party was a “black tie” event hosted in ~ the request of my very Formal French grandparents, who offered their son-in-law to it is in (my father) a pair the expensive yellow cufflinks. This was intended as a token of my grandparents’ enthusiasm around the upcoming marriage.

My American grandmother, who had not anticipated together a officially exchange, walk not have a gift prepared. She pulled her child aside, passionate to discover a method of “saving face.” that agreed come let her abscond through what was in reality his Christmas gift to mine mother, a pair of emerald stud earrings, so that she could present the bride with a mutual gesture. Situation averted.

In French culture, and particularly because mine grandparents room so old-fashioned, the Formality of celebrating an engagement was obvious. For the very Informal americans in mine family, these Formal expectation were regularly confounding. Luckily, both families are aware of – and also typically remain flexible – in the confront of your cross-cultural differences.

Here are two to adjust of signposts to assist improve her cross-cultural awareness in the Formality Dimension. You will do it learn exactly how to identify the actions of Formal and Informal cultures, and also have the chance to take a cross-cultural awareness quiz to test her learning.

Signs of formal Culture:

People dress an ext elegantly to present status.Titles and honorifics space common, especially in a service setting.People readjust their human body language to show deference or respect (ergoeye contact, posture, etc.).Language offers formal and also informal execution of “you.”Protocol and etiquette are crucial parts the social and also business interactions, such as ensuring that the most senior person start a room first.Written communication is highly structured or formalized.Business cards room an indicator that status, and a ceremonial exchange of business cards have the right to be essential to make a great impression.People find it inappropriate or uncomfortable to talk about private problem at work.Business networking at social events is thought about unprofessional.

Signs of an informal Culture:

People dress an ext for comfort, and style is frequently a mode of self-expression.Titles and honorifics space uncommon, only supplied in more formal situations.People are quick to move to a first-name basis.People execute not sit in mentioned positions in a room or go into in location order.Written interaction emphasizes performance rather 보다 formality.Social conversation in a work setting is common.People broaden their network and discuss service at social gatherings.Exchanging service cards is a realistic custom quite than a ceremonial practice.

Cross-Cultural Awareness Quiz: Formal versus Informal Cultures

Now that you’re aware of the indications that differ most throughout Formal and also Informal cultures, take it the “You know you’re in one Informal society if …” quiz. Merely note the number of the statements the indicate casual culture, and also then scroll down to check out the answer an essential below (correct answers are in boldface).

You understand You’re in one Informal culture If…

People repeatedly adhere come precise, deliberate ways of interacting. Co-workers complain there room too many rules governing rectal interactions.Colleagues take pride in a unique, individualized work-related style.People regularly boast around their material possessions.Senior executives sit no in personal offices, but in an open office v others.Professionals invest time and also effort right into the way they introduce and also establish credibility because that themselves and others.You discover many unwritten or invisible rule of engagement.People unceremoniously hand their company cards to one more person, or forget to carry them come a service function.

Answer Key: You recognize You’re in an Informal society If…

1. Civilization consistently adhere come precise, deliberate means of interacting.

2. Co-workers complain there space too many rules governing rectal interactions.

3. Colleagues take it pride in a unique, individualized job-related style.

4. World often boast about their product possessions.

5. Senior executives sit no in exclusive offices, yet in an open up office with others.

6. Specialists invest time and also effort right into the method they introduce and establish credibility for themselves and others.

7. Girlfriend discover countless unwritten or invisible rules of engagement.

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8. Civilization unceremoniously hand their company cards to one more person, or forget to carry them to a company function.

To further improve her awareness the cross-cultural dynamics in the Formality Dimension, check out our thorough blog post, The Formality Dimension: how To prevent Intercultural interaction Missteps the Damage business Relationships.