While you think of the UK, what images come to mind? This guide supplies clues and insight to British people.
The great thing about the increasing globalization of our world is that little is now really unknown. We can research and inform ourselves about new places and destinations, even walk virtually down chosen streets, and so arrive with some sense of familiarity.
This eases those early days and prevents us from feeling instantly overwhelmed.
Nevertheless, even with some familiarity, navigating cultural differences can initially really feel a bit like sailing in stormy waters. As a way to understand and talk effectively in a new tradition, two approaches might be useful:
- Growing a personal awareness of one’s personal cultural orientation and views – a personal cultural blueprint.
- Growing an understanding of the cultural orientations of the host country.
This article supplies an overview of a number of the characteristics of the typical British person based mostly on cultural variables and/or dimensions of individualism, power, space, communication, and action as recognized by Joerg Schmitz (Cultural Orientations Guide).
Nevertheless, first a health warning! The UK has 4 countries: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Every country has its personal history, traditions, and therefore cultural differentiations.
In addition, there are lots of regional differences and 200 nationalities represented throughout the UK population. It goes with out saying that there’s huge cultural diversity.
Also Check out: British Etiquette and Culture
Society within the UK tends to give attention to and reinforce individual achievement. That is similar to countries with a more collective orientation that emphasizes the group’s interests over the person’s.
Within the UK, the individual and their rights are paramount; usually, everybody should look after themselves and their immediate family.
In the workplace, though teamwork is an important means to attaining superior performance, people throughout the team may compete. Management looks at individual and group efficiency when conducting individual performance appraisals.
Loyalty to a collective group could exist in terms of religious groupings, corporate allegiances or local community networks and teams, particularly amongst national groupings. The extent to which you find it will vary.
Communication with people
Social environments vary in how individuals express themselves. A high context orientation will imply that there is an emphasis on implicit communication and non-verbal cues.
A low context orientation will mean that communication is explicit, individuals say what they imply and mean what they say!
The UK is kind of bit of a mix when it comes to communication. People dwelling in southern England are sometimes described as relatively indirect and reserved.
Additionally they won’t be particularly demonstrative in an emotional sense. It’s common to be left wondering what people actually think or resorting to asking clarifying questions to find out.
As you head further north, individuals do become more open and direct, even perhaps blunt. They’re additionally stated to be friendlier and extra welcoming and a touch more emotionally demonstrative as well.
The British are usually quite private in their nature. “An Englishman’s home is his castle” is a proverb which demonstrates this point. People really feel more in a position to be fully themselves when they’re at their home. Outside of the house, they conform to social norms.
Personal house is essential. When meeting people for the first time, leave space between and greet people with a proper handshake. Nevertheless, barriers break down shortly; people are usually more open and friendly as soon as they’ve met you a few times.
The power dimension talks about degree of acceptability of various power relationships and social stratification inside a culture. Traditionally, the class structure of society has been essential within the UK. Even right now the media will use class labels to describe individuals.
For instance, when Prince William became engaged to Kate Middleton, she was described as being from a “wealthy middle–class family”.
Regardless of the frequent reference to class structure, there is also a desire to develop a society based on meritocracy, not inheritance and social standing. Alternative for all is crucial and actually meant by many people.
Promotion in many organizations relies on previous performance rather than connections and family heritage, however in fact there are some exceptions.
Within the workplace, though senior administration will sometimes have the last word authority, staff are inspired to contribute to debate and discussions and demonstrate personal initiative and responsibility.
The action dimension identifies the difference between cultures with a ‘doing orientation’, that are focused towards tasks and action and a ‘being orientation’, which emphasises the importance of relationships, reflection and analysis.
The UK has a tendency towards action and task orientation. People delight themselves on their means to complete tasks on time. Though not sticklers in terms of punctuality, as soon as people are at work the old protestant work ethic usually shines through.
Nevertheless, there’s a growing realisation of the benefits of a ‘being orientation’ and people these days might be seen to be extra sensitive to relationships and the importance of nurturing these on the expense of task achievement than they would have been in the past.
I hope this brief overview has given you some useful insights about British people. It’s a useful train to ask your self where you’d place your self when it comes to the dimensions mentioned above and consider how you might manage any major differences.