You have created your GlobeSmart Profile, which is a big step towards working more effectively across distance and difference. The GlobeSmart Profile is designed to start discussions about our preferred work styles and the manner in which we interact with others. 

The Dimensions

Your profile shows your placement on five dimensions: 

  • Independent - Interdependent
  • Egalitarianism - Status
  • Risk - Certainty
  • Direct - Indirect
  • Task - Relationship

Each dimension is a continuum, and each person or culture will fall somewhere along this continuum. There is no high or low score, and no right or wrong side to be on. Here's what each dimension means:


Independent-Interdependent

This dimension seeks to answer the question, How do I derive my identity?

People and cultures who fall towards the Independent side of the dimension tend to:

  • Place great importance on individual identity
  • Derive identity from personal choices and achievements
  • Prefer taking action on one's own

People and cultures who fall towards the Interdependent side of the dimension tend to:

  • Place great importance on group harmony and cooperation
  • Derive identity from group affiliation
  • Feel a sense of duty, obligation, and loyalty to ascribed groups

Here is an example of how this dimension could play out in the workplace:

You are tasked with making a recommendation for process improvements in a departmental system. Will you put forth your own ideas, perhaps conferring with one or two others? Or will you first try to speak with everyone in your group to make sure that all views are reflected in the recommendation?


Egalitarianism-Status

This dimension seeks to answer the question, What is my preference for how my group should be structured and how power should be distributed?

People and cultures who fall towards the Egalitarianism side of the dimension tend to:

  • Be comfortable challenging the views of superiors
  • Be flexible about roles and titles
  • Assume power and authority should be shared broadly among a group

People and cultures who fall towards the Status side of the dimension tend to:

  • Prefer not to challenge those above them
  • Adapt behavior depending on relative status
  • Assume power and authority should be reserved for a few members of a group

Here is an example of how this dimension could play out in the workplace:

While meeting with a prospective customer, you are greeted by the president's assistant, and brought to his office. The number two person in the company starts the meeting, referring to his boss throughout on issues related to decisions, information shared, etc. Do you tend to talk to whomever you like, whomever you need to get the information you need without regard to title or status? Or are you likely to defer to status and rank, based on your belief that position and title have a key purpose and need to be respected?


Risk-Certainty

This dimension seeks to answer the question, How do I make decisions in uncertain or ambiguous situations?

People and cultures who fall towards the Risk side of the dimension tend to:

  • Prefer rapid decision-making and quick results
  • Place great importance on flexibility and initiative
  • Value speed over thoroughness

People and cultures who fall towards the Certainty side of the dimension tend to:

  • Spend significant time on background research
  • Establish proper procedures before starting a project
  • Value thoroughness over speed

Here is an example of how this dimension could play out in the workplace: 

A manager from corporate HQ is asking you to make a decision regarding your department's ability to commit to a specific production goal by the end of the month. Do you tend to make an approximate guess at the number of units you believe your department will produce, figuring it's better to shoot for a high goal than to be too conservative? Or, do you ask for more information, need more time to research many different factors, want some assurance of the qualifications of the individual or group asking the questions, need to consult other members of the group, etc.?


Direct-Indirect

This dimension seeks to answer the question, How do I communicate requests, tasks, and feedback?

People and cultures who fall towards the Direct side of the dimension tend to:

  • Come to the point quickly
  • Be comfortable making requests, giving direction, or disagreeing with others
  • Give negative feedback directly

People and cultures who fall towards the Indirect side of the dimension tend to:

  • Spend time explaining the context before coming to the point
  • Express disagreement in subtle ways
  • Give negative feedback indirectly

Here is an example of how this dimension could play out in the workplace: 

There have been some complaints about a colleague's work. Do you talk to the person about these complaints immediately, and not worry too much about where or how the conversation takes place? Or do you take the person to lunch, preferring a non-threatening, relaxed setting to feel out how things are going from your colleague's perspective before bringing up anything about the complaints?


Task-Relationship

This dimension seeks to answer the question, When working on new projects, do I prefer to address tasks or relationships first?

People and cultures who fall towards the Task side of the dimension tend to:

  • Place high value on reaching goals and objectives on schedule
  • Prioritize accomplishing tasks over maintaining relationships
  • Focus on what people achieve more than who they know

People and cultures who fall towards the Relationship side of the dimension tend to:

  • View time building relationships as key to achieving good results
  • Prioritize maintaining relationships over accomplishing tasks on time
  • Focus on who people know as much as what they themselves can achieve

Here is an example of how this dimension could play out in the workplace: 

You are meeting a prospective client for the first time over lunch in a restaurant. Do you begin discussing business as soon as introductions are over? Or do you spend a leisurely amount of time (possibly the duration of the entire meal) finding out about the other person's background and interests?

 

Why do we use these dimensions?

These dimensions have a strong impact on behavior in the business context. They have been used extensively in research and have proven to be reliable indicators of behavioral trends. Data sets are available on these dimensions, making it possible to compile profiles for many cultures (learn how we create Cultural Profiles). As more Aperian users complete their profiles, it adds to the body of research in the field. 

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