Using the Wisdom of Mrs. Chen in the Classroom

Cultural Conversations, organized as a part of the US Business & Culture class for students in their first semester at SKEMA Raleigh, is the signature Cultural Exchange Network event on campus. Between February 25 and March 18, ten of these peer-led workshops on navigating cultural differences impacted 330 SKEMA students and 160 NC State students. The GTI Leadership Council, a group of trained student facilitators, presented difficult cultural scenarios to multi-cultural groups of up to 6 people to promote critical thinking about cultural interactions in the modern world.

Using the work of Erin Meyer, author of The Culture Map, students work together to address effective methods for navigating difficult cultural situations. Mrs. Chen, the mother of one of Erin Meyer’s Chinese colleagues, is referenced in the Introduction of the book. His mother’s words of wisdom have influenced her son’s behavior to the point that he’s not willing to speak up during a meeting: “You have two eyes, two ears, but only one mouth. You should use them accordingly.” Bo Chen, in an attempt to demonstrate good listening skills, is misunderstood as incompetent for remaining silent. Using similar scenarios, students are able to address reasons behind cultural conflicts and discuss methods for interacting more effectively in our increasingly globalizing world.

For more information about Cultural Conversations, please contact Becky Cibulskis at

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About NC State Global

The Global Training Initiative (GTI) at North Carolina State University equips students and professionals with the knowledge and skillset they need to succeed in today's global economy by harnessing the university's resources. GTI is part of the NC State's International Affairs and partners with various departments and units across campus to deliver custom training programs.

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