Academic journal article Adult Learning

Hays, P. A. (2013). Connecting across Cultures: The Helper's Toolkit

Academic journal article Adult Learning

Hays, P. A. (2013). Connecting across Cultures: The Helper's Toolkit

Article excerpt

Hays, P. A. (2013). Connecting Across Cultures: The Helper's Toolkit. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 123 pp. ISBN 978-1-4522-1791-8 (paperback)

The scenarios will probably be familiar: In an attempt to help a student, you offer what you believe to be good advice, only to be met with a reaction that lets you know you clearly missed the mark. You work to incorporate diverse examples into your classes or workshops, only to be informed you have used an offensive word or phrase you did not realize was offensive. You try to connect with someone different from yourself, and yet you cannot seem to crack the code to build a meaningful relationship. Chances are, if you have tried to help, at some point you have failed or, at least, encountered a reaction different from what you expected.

In Connecting Across Cultures: The Helper's Toolkit, Pamela Hays (2013) presents accessible strategies for anyone in a helping profession--education, health care, emergency response, or others. She approaches culture from a fairly inclusive perspective and acknowledges dimensions of human diversity beyond her own examples.

Personal privilege can be a tricky subject, especially for members of the dominant culture (across whichever dimension of diversity it might be). The challenge is compounded in that most of us experience privilege in some aspects of our lives but not in others. One of the strengths of this book is that it acknowledges that mistakes can come from good intentions, and encourages readers to examine their own biases and mistakes as catalysts for learning and improvement. Reading this book is not an instant solution but spending time with the reflection questions and exercises will, at minimum, improve awareness and likely lead to better relationships. Hays underscores this intent during an early exercise in which readers are encouraged to "try to approach this exercise with curiosity, letting go of judgments of yourself or what you think you 'should have' experienced" (p. 20).

During an initial content scan, I was disappointed to not find cutting-edge research in cross-cultural interactions and leadership presented. However, once I sat down and read the book, I realized it was grounded in theory but geared toward practical application. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.