Showing Your Smile From Behind a Mask: How Culture and Emotion Impact Communication


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Sep 11 2020 23 mins   1.6k

“In companies, you’re interacting with other people who come from different cultural contexts, and in order to be effective, you have to understand how much of your own communication and other people’s communication is shaped by their cultural ideas and their cultural values.” On this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, host Matt Abrahams sits down with Jeanne Tsai, an associate professor of Psychology at Stanford and director of the Culture and Emotion Lab. Jeanne’s research focuses on cultural influences on psychological and social processes related to emotion. Jeanne discusses why wearing a mask is more accepted for some cultures, and seen as prohibiting communication in others. 

“Communication is just one of the places where you really can see culture at work,” she says. “In cultural contexts that promote these more independent views of the self, the core goal of communication is to express yourself, to express those beliefs, preferences and desires that define who you are.” 

Think Fast, Talk Smart is a podcast produced by Stanford Graduate School of Business. Each episode provides concrete, easy-to-implement tools and techniques to help you hone and enhance your communication skills.