You are here

You are here

Do You Know Your Rules? Improving Intercultural Interactions

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
9:30 am to 11:00 am

Do you ever wonder…

“Why does my PI treat me so formally, but laugh and joke with others in the lab?”
“Why does my student mentee treat my directions as more like suggestions? Am I not being clear enough?”
“Why does my lab-mate act like he understands what I’m saying, and then he asks me the same thing the next time we meet, or asks someone else the same question?”
“Why didn’t she speak up in the group meeting? We just discussed that she should stand up for herself to our mentor!”

Knowing your own internal rules and expectations can have a positive impact on interactions with your fellow postdocs and students, family, and most importantly, your mentor.  The rules that direct our behaviors are often cultural – learned in childhood.  Like fish unaware of the water they live in, we can be just as oblivious to the cultural norms that drive our behavior.  In this workshop, we’ll explore some of our own rules and what values we are maintaining by following the rules.  We will also discuss how to communicate our rules and expectations to others in a positive way, and how to understand how others’ rules may affect their behavior.

Class size is limited to 25 participants to facilitate small group discussion. Because space is limited, please do not register unless you are sure you can attend.

Speaker: Paige Vinson is Assistant Director of Duke International House, where she creates programming for international students, scholars, staff, and their families.  In addition, she leads cross-cultural communication workshops for administrators and local business members. Paige is a certified ESL Instructor, Intercultural Trainer, and  Koru Mindfulness Instructor.

This workshop is part of the Mentoring and Communication Series sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Services and The Graduate School. Questions about the workshop? Contact The Graduate School's professional development team at

Register now


MSRB Classroom 01
Map and directions

Event Category

  • Professional Development
  • Communication