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Americans at Work

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Americans at Work

A Guide to the Can-Do People

Intercultural Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Those from other cultures who work with Americans find them positive, independent, efficient, egalitarian and blunt.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


In a global economy, you inevitably will work with people from other cultures. But since culture determines behavior, how can people from outside the United States best adapt to working in the American workplace? And, how do they perceive American workplace behavior? Author Craig Storti examines American culture and extracts six key themes that drive the U.S. workplace. In the process, he teaches his fellow Americans about their unexamined workplace behavior. That’s refreshing. Looking at yourself from the outside helps you re-examine how you work with others. The process opens doors to a whole new evaluation process that could revitalize many businesses. Unfortunately, while Storti makes interesting cultural points, his book is repetitive and belabors obvious ideas. His practical advice on such topics as table manners, fashion, gift giving, eye contact, touching and even sending e-mail is valuable, but could have been presented better in succinct bullet point summaries. However, getAbstract appreciates his introduction to behavior, manners and mores in the cross-cultural workplace.


American Destiny

Americans are a strange breed. They so sincerely believe that all people are similar that they have a hard time accepting that differences do exist between themselves and those from other cultures. Deep down, Americans believe everyone is alike, regardless of birthplace. This stems from a unique combination of geography (almost unlimited land), social freedoms and economics (the absence of castes and classes) that produces a uniquely American outlook.

Early in its history, the U.S.'s new type of freedom, allowing people to move geographically while advancing their standard of living, broke the Old World dictum that your social rank was fixed based on birth, economics, politics and status. Rank dominated the Old World, but it does not determine your future in America, where destiny is created, not inherited.

This American ethos gave rise to the dominant belief that you can achieve anything through personal persistent effort. Hard work and a positive attitude are essentials in a U.S. workplace. Overcoming obstacles and working with available resources are imbedded values. People with this viewpoint transform problems into challenges; their overwhelming...

About the Author

Craig Storti is founder and director of Communicating Across Cultures, a Washington, D.C., intercultural communication training and consulting firm. A former Peace Corp volunteer, he has written many best selling books about the cross cultural experience, including the Art of Crossing Cultures, The Art of Coming Home and Figuring Foreigners Out. After living outside the U.S. for 25 years, he now resides in Maryland.

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