This course on American culture for those providing service to Americans will:
- Give a brief overview of American history and how various events have influenced American culture.
- Explain regional differences.
- Discuss current demographics and projected population growth statistics.
- Offer information about U.S. culture and several subcultures.
Just as interacting with people from any “foreign” culture can provide a host of challenges, doing business with Americans can be stressful, baffling, and downright exhausting. The Red, White, and Blue View: Understanding and Doing Business with Americans is a comprehensive program offering information that goes beyond television and Hollywood images to help people not living in the United States to understand better the thought processes, vocabularies, cultural references, expectations, and reactions of the people who call themselves Americans.
As it is described in this outline, this program is designed as a two-day workshop for those living outside of the United States. However, with some minor modifications, this course works well as a one-day seminar for U.S. participants working with people from different parts of the country.
At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:
- Position themselves as global service providers rather than outsourced or offshore labor.
- Understand how the products or services they provide fit into the American lifestyle.
- Identify and comprehend common cultural references.
- Recognize and respond appropriately to American ways of thinking, speaking, negotiating, and conducting business.
The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).
From Sea to Shining Sea: A Brief History of the United States and Significant Events
Independence from England, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and hundreds of other events have directly or indirectly shaped the people who today call themselves Americans. This introductory course component exposes participants to the country’s history, its government, and its people’s perceptions of current events. Furthermore, this segment discusses commonalities Americans tend to share. After this part of the program, participants should have greater insight into why Americans think and behave as they do, along with how that thinking (and behaving) differs in comparison to other cultures.
Californication, Walking in Memphis, and Other Anthems: Exploring Regional Differences and Similarities
Despite the abundance of chain stores, nationally broadcast programs, and what seems like the same fast-food restaurants on every corner, in many ways Miami, Kansas City, Boston, and other locales are as different as they are similar. This segment highlights some of the peculiarities of different parts of the United States and the customs of the people who live and work in those regions. In addition to learning about local identities, from this part of the program, participants should have a better understanding of their customers’ regional vocabulary, verbal patterns, and pacing.
They’re Coming to America: Shifting Demographics
Immigration is a constant in America. Throughout the country’s history, immigrants have added to the collective culture. This part of the program examines immigration patterns and where the people of the United States have come from and are expected to come from over the next ten years. From this section, participants will understand not only shifts in demographics but how different groups come to identify themselves as Americans. We will also discuss how immigration has influenced and continues to influence thinking, tastes, and behaviors within the general population.
This Land is Your Land, This Land Is My Land: Subcultures in America
The average American family has 2.3 kids and a dog. Understanding that should be simple. Right? The reality is that few people are truly average. America is a land filled with skaters, surfers, rockers, hip-hoppers, yuppies, guppies, soccer moms, and a hundred or more other groups. This portion of the program explores American subcultures and what differentiates them from the mainstream. From this part of the course, participants should gain insight into some of the many slices of America and what matters to them.
God Bless the USA: Understanding Religious Influence
Religion’s role in America dates back to the country’s foundation. To this day, religion and religious beliefs influence the business world, politics, and social activities. This part of the workshop explores different religious views in the United States and ways in which religion fits into the culture. At the conclusion of this segment, participants should be able to relate to those customers who directly or indirectly make religious references as they relate to themselves or their businesses.
Raised on Promises: An American Girl’s (or Boy’s) Experience
It is often said that spending time with locals is a great way to get to know a place. In this part of the program, participants will learn about pop culture references most Americans will understand. Participants will also “meet” (via prerecorded video) 20 people who will share their answers to a common set of questions about how they live and what they think. This part of the program aims to bring a new perspective to some of the course’s earlier discussions.
Oh Say Can You Speak: American English Versus Other Dialects
It is English, but will an American understand it? That depends. Often international English alienates or disengages U.S. speakers. This part of the program highlights words and phrases that don’t translate well, addresses issues of formality, and shares skills for diplomatically handling communication problems when they occur. Using role-plays and practice cases specific to the client’s business, participants will have an opportunity to practice interacting and reacting to a range of scenarios.
At this program’s conclusion, participants will be armed with the information they need to effectively service American customers.