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Welcome to our e-learning course on Dilemma Reconciliation.

This is the final of three components in the Professional Licensee Certification e-learning providing the professional with a foundational understanding to Trompenaars Hampden-Turner’s concept of culture.

Culture is the dynamic process of solving human challenges/dilemmas. All cultures are similar in the dilemmas they confront, yet different in the solutions they find. These are equally valid – there is no one best way.

A dilemma can be defined as two propositions that are in apparent tension - a situation with two equally desirable options. We focus both on the fact that all cultures experience the same tension and that their solution differs. In doing so, we enable participants to broaden their own views on how to respond and show them how they can reconcile the dilemma to achieve a solution that goes beyond the single approach of any given culture.

In order to sustainably embed culture awareness for the long-term, leaders/organizations face the difficult task of reconciling some tough dilemmas. The key challenge is to identify the dilemmas that impact different stakeholder groups to develop a model that enables optimal outcomes to be achieved for customers and clients, staff, shareholders, regulators and society overall.

Our Dilemma Reconciliation Methodology provides a grounded understanding of the relationship between culture and the workplace underpinned by Trompenaars Hampden-Turner's last two Rs of Reconciliation and Realisation in our 4Rs approach.


You have now understood the first two Rs in the 7D module:

  • The first R – Recognize: A lot of research has been done on cultural differences. This research has shown that cultural differences can be described in seven dimensions.
  • In the second R - Respect, we use a technique called 'cracking the line'. We can use this process to show respect for others cultures. It entails breaking up an apparent status quo by putting two the extremes of a dilemma on a grid.

Now we look at the last two Rs:

  • The third R – Reconcile: Here, we want to go beyond the compromise and aim for the ‘best’ solution - a reconciled solution. We stretch both sides and combine the positives of each to create a solution: the best solution that encompasses the benefits of both viewpoints.
  • 'Realize' is the final stage of the 4Rs for dealing with cultural differences. Realization is a way of handling culturally diverse situations with a broader understanding of how culture shapes the way we apply meaning to the behaviors and actions of others.

Therefore, by example …

  • Managing performance is about understanding individual capabilities. To manage performance effectively, you should be aware of the impact of your own cultural orientation and the bias this may lead to, when providing feedback. You should help others to develop and grow new skills, as well as focus on continuous improvements.
  • Delivering results is about getting things done while taking the different perspectives of others in account. The specific approach you take in delivering results depends on your background experience, expertise, preferences and the diversity of those around you. With diverse teams, they need to establish a shared purpose and shared values to build cohesion and monitor progress with the team. To do this, it is important to know how to reconcile cultural dilemmas. To be more effective, any conflicts that arise should be resolved. Motivate your team members, and most importantly, leverage the diverse strength of the team.