Table of Contents

americans at work: a guide to the can-do people
Americans at Work: A Guide to the Can-Do People
by Craig Storti   ISBN:1931930058
Intercultural Press © 2004 (200 pages)

Whether you work with Americans face-to-face, communicate with them via telephone or e-mail, or interact together in a virtual team, this book reveals the subtle and not-so-subtle aspects of American culture in the workplace.

Table of Contents
Americans At Work”A Guide to the Can-Do People
Part I - The Big Picture
Chapter 1 - Americans and Foreigners
Chapter 2 - The Land of Opportunity
Chapter 3 - The Can-Do People
Chapter 4 - Equality for All
Chapter 5 - You Are What You™ve Done
Chapter 6 - On Your Own
Chapter 7 - Time Matters
Chapter 8 - Communication, American Style
Chapter 9 - Of Bosses and Subordinates
Part II - The Details
Chapter 10 - Details
List of QuickTips

Back Cover

Whether you work with Americans face-to-face, communicate with them by telephone or e-mail or interact together in a virtual team, Americans at Work reveals the subtle and the not-so-subtle aspects of American culture in the workplace.

Best-selling author Craig Storti provides historical perspectives and explanations of the six most important American cultural themes and their relevance to the workplace:

  • Land of Opportunity “ (a driven people)
  • Go-for-It Mentality “ (ready, fire, aim; new is better)
  • Equality for All “ (but don t forget who s boss)
  • The Drive to Achieve “ (nice guys finish last)
  • Live and Let Live “ (do your own thing)
  • Time Matters “ ( obsession with efficiency)

Learn about straight talk, American style, and how Americans aren t always as direct as they say they are. Find out why Americans are deeply conflicted about power: they crave it but are loath to be caught craving it. See how Americans view outsiders. Gain tips for succeeding in the American work environment. Finally, get the basics of work- related etiquette: conducting meetings, giving feedback, nonverbal communication, e-mail rules, gifts, taboo topics, and so on.

Knowing how Americans work with each other will help you predict their reactions and, more important, their expectations of you. And if you are American, you will better understand your own behavior and be able to work more effectively with colleagues from other cultures.

About the Author

Craig Storti is founder and director of Communicating Across Cultures, a Washington DC-based intercultural communication training and consulting firm. A former Peace Corps volunteer, he has written many best-selling books on the cross-cultural experience, including The Art of Crossing Cultures, The Art of Coming Home and Figuring Foreigners Out .

Americans At Work ”A Guide to the Can-Do People

Craig Storti

Intercultural Press
A Nicholas Brealey Company

First published by Intercultural Press, A Nicholas Brealey Company. For information contact:

Intercultural Press, Inc. Nicholas Brealey Publishing PO Box 700 3-5 Spafield Street Yarmouth, Maine 04096 USA London, EC1R 4QB, UK Tel: 207-846-5168 Tel: +44-(0)-207-239-0360 Fax: 207-846-5181 Fax: +44-(0)-207-239-0370

2004 by Craig Storti

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Printed in the United States of America

08 07 06 05 04 1 2 3 4 5

ISBN 1-931930-5-8

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Storti, Craig.

Americans at work : a cultural guide to the can-do people/Craig Storti
p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN: 1-931930-05-8 (pbk.)
1. Alien labor ” United States ” Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Visitors, Foreign ” United States ” Handbooks, manuals, etc. 3. National characteristics, American. 4. Group identity ” United States.
5. Organizational behavior ” United States. 6. Intercultural communication ” United States. I. Title. HD8081.A5S76 2004 650.1'3'086910973 ” dc22 2004008234

To Judy Carl-Hendrick: the best friend a writer could have.


As always, my deep gratitude to Toby Frank, for this book and for all the others. Patricia O Hare and Nicholas Brealey gave me very astute advice on tone and balance. Judy Carl-Hendrick, as usual, was good on the big picture and on the details; her deft touch enhances every page.

Every book s unsung hero is the writer s spouse, who gets to share all of the grief and none of the glory . To Charlotte, my love and thanks.

About the Author

Craig Storti is a nationally known figure in the field of intercultural communications and cross-cultural adaptation and is the author of several widely used books in the intercultural field:

  • The Art of Crossing Cultures

  • The Art of Coming Home

  • Cross-Cultural Dialogues

  • Figuring Foreigners Out

  • Old World/New World: Americans and Europeans

He has more than twenty-five years of experience training businessmen and women, academics , diplomats, civil servants, and foreign aid work- ers in undersanding and working effectively with people from other cultures. and diverse backgrounds. As a trainer and consultant, he has advised Fortune 500 companies on international joint ventures and expatriate/repatriation issues, led cross-cultural workshops for international agencies and nongovernmental organizations on four continents, and assisted numerous corporations and government agencies to better manage global teams and a multicultural workforce. His clients include

  • Nike

  • U.S. Department of State

  • Exxon Mobil

  • Federal Aviation Administration

  • Best Buy

  • NASA

  • British Telecom

  • FBI

  • Pfizer

  • The University of Chicago

  • FedEx

  • Tulane University

  • Target

  • Vanderbilt University

  • The United Nations

Craig Storti is also a well-known speaker and has written for a number of national magazines and major newspapers, including The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He has lived nearly a quarter of his life abroad ” with extended stays in Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures ” and speaks French, Arabic, and Nepali.