A Leadership Program for Duke Students with A Global Mindset

Category: HaojinL

Journal Entry #3

Collaborating is the conflict-handling model that I use the least often. According to the TKI profile, collaborating is a style that combines assertiveness and cooperativeness, meaning that the individual tries to work with others to find a mutually beneficial solution. However, I have found that it can be challenging to find the ideal solution that takes into account the concerns of all parties involved. This may be one of the reasons why I do not often use the collaborating style.

It is important to note that just because I have had difficulties with collaboration in the past, it does not mean that it always results in a complicated and compromising solution. In fact, sometimes collaboration can lead to clear and direct solutions. When faced with a group assignment or a large coding project that requires significant collaboration, I often set the expectation that someone may need to make a compromise for the benefit of the team. This can lead me to give up on finding the best solution that meets everyone’s interests. Nevertheless, the possibility does exist and my weakness in collaborating encourages me to try to utilize collaborating more in my daily and academic life.

In intercultural settings, collaboration can be a valuable tool for resolving conflicts and promoting understanding and respect between people from different cultural backgrounds. Collaborating involves working together with others to find a solution that takes into account everyone’s needs and concerns. In this way, it helps to foster a sense of shared responsibility and teamwork, which can be particularly important in intercultural settings where cultural differences can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.

It is also important to be mindful of cultural differences in communication styles, as well as in approaches to decision-making and problem-solving. For example, some cultures may place a greater emphasis on individualism, while others may place a higher value on collectivism. Understanding these differences can help to facilitate more effective collaboration in intercultural settings.

Overall, collaborating can be a useful conflict-handling style in intercultural settings because it promotes active and respectful engagement between people from different backgrounds. By working together to find solutions that meet everyone’s needs, it helps to build trust and understanding, and to foster a sense of shared responsibility and teamwork.

Journal Entry #2

Social identity is something I never really thought of and I do appreciate that the social identity wheel activity brought myself to a more profound reflection of my own identity in terms of various aspects.

For me, social-economic status is definitely the one that especially means a lot and I believe for a large number of Duke students. Duke cultivates a very career-focused atmosphere that everyone has been immersed in it. It is like a strong wave of the ocean, you could not resist but follow. On the one hand, I began to think about my future career in the very early stage of my college which is beneficial for my future endeavors. On the other hand, sometimes it could be too much for me. As for now, I feel the pressure of applying for all kinds of internships for the next summer since everyone around me is doing so. It is so important for me that I always overlook my other needs and social identity while pursuing the best for my social-economic status. I gradually realize that the wheel of social identity would be a great analogy as we do need every section of the wheel to make the wheel keep going. Any difference between every part of the wheel would cause an imbalance, which means my attitude toward different social identities should not be significantly varied. And I do believe a day-to-day awareness and reflection on every part of my social identity would be especially helpful for me to grow and learn as a well-rounded person.

That being said, I do treat different social identities completely differently in practice and the influence of different identities changes all the time, especially before and after I came to the US for college. Before, I grew up in China, a highly homogenous country. I never thought about race and ethnicity as everyone around me has a Chinese face. I don’t understand what it means to respect different races. However, studying in the US completely changes my perceptions of race and ethnicity as I somehow become a minority in terms of race and I have to be more understanding and aware of other races’ cultures and norms.

Journal Entry #1

Culture is a combination of everything. For insiders of a culture, it means their commonly recognized living habits, beliefs, social norms, and knowledge. While for outsiders, culture means an essential approach for them to understand and empathize with insiders of the culture.

There’s a famous Chinese saying “Chinese culture is broad and profound throughout five thousand years” which manifests the longevity and richness of Chinese culture since it has been evolving for so long and has been impactful to many areas around East Asia. Every time I was asked to speak for my culture, I feel unqualified since I could not represent all peoples within the great nation. For example, similar to American geography people on the east and west coast have distinctive living styles, people from the north and south parts of China have many differences in terms of dialects, habits, and ways to interact with others. For me, Chinese culture is like an encyclopedia. It includes every wisdom that I need to deal with my life. Confucianism guides me on personal ethics and morality, hundreds of thousands of Chinese poems across 18 dynasties teach me to discover the unique aesthetic of the world, and Chinese traditional festivals such as Chinese New Year remind me of how important the family means to me and how important it is to show gratitude to people around me.

I was born and raised in Xi’an, China before coming to college in the US. I had never been living in a place with different culture but now. As an international student here at Duke, everything was refreshing for me the moment I moved into the campus. I remember writing down how many “first-time” things I did during the orientation week here and it turned out to be too many to write down. It might be surprising but I had never tried real exotic food other than Chinese food nor talked to people in English for more than a day. The first time I went to Panda Express, my friends were laughing at me because I ate the entire fortune cookie with the tape inside since I never saw and knew the existence of it back in China.

But more than these surface culture shocks that I had, the most significant difference I found between China and US are our perspectives of individualism and collectivism. Individualism brings diversity and creativity while collectivism brings efficiency and unity. It is fascinating for me to discover and compare the pros and cons of both isms when I attend classes, meet new friends, and deal with everything in my life. Moreover, the experience also reshapes my values of the 21st-century world amid the wave of globalization and makes me realize the importance of being a global citizen with genuine respect and comprehension of different cultures.

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