Book Review | Curious about Culture by Gaiti Rabbani
I picked up Curious about Culture as I love exploring cultures and I am insatiably curious. There couldn’t be a more eye-catching title for me. That said, the book did take a slightly different focus to that which I expected. It was a lot more multi-dimensional. Rather than solely exploring the culture of organisations, which is what I expected, it takes a comprehensive look through the “kaleidoscope” of culture. It did a whole lot more than just scratch the surface of culture.
The author, Gaiti Rabbani, has a wealth of experience in a diverse set of cultures, from the UK, to the Middle East, and now in Australia. And this experience shines through in the different lens that Gaiti looks at cross-cultural perspectives. Within each chapter, Gaiti re-focuses the lens through which we are reading.
The book is well-structured and I particularly enjoyed the “Be Curious” section at the end of each chapter. These short sections were both a quick recap of what I had just read, but more importantly, for me, they were challenges to self-reflect on my own experience; getting me to think about my own cultural journey, and how the messages in the book could be applied to the situations I find myself in.
More so than ever, we all live in a vast melting pot of cultures. And this translates into very diverse work cultures, which is where my main area of focus is. By better understanding cultures other than our own, and the diversity these cultures brings, the better we will be at building rapport and effective working relationships. It may also help us avoid some of those embarrassing cultural faux pas.
If understanding the world around you is something that you are interested in, and who wouldn’t be, I recommend that you pick up this book.
Fran Cormack, Agile Coach & Organisational Coach