Today we went to the Guinness that DOES brew beer! We toured around the Guinness Storehouse which has been my favorite activity thus far. It was a really cool museum with interactive exhibits and abstract art. From a business lens, it was clear that Guinness takes great pride in and care of their brand. They focus on sharing moments and creating memories with people through their beer. This strategy resembles much of Ireland’s culture in the sense that people go to pubs and restaurants for the experience, not just because they are hungry or thirsty. In America, we go to restaurants to eat and then we usually leave soon after we are finished. In Ireland, they take time to build a relationship with those around them. They do not rush the process. The food comes when it comes and the check makes its way to the table eventually. This seems to tie into Guinness’s idea of selling an experience rather than just a product.
This leads me to what I’ve noticed in terms of communication differences. Ireland is a very high context country, meaning they speak more with hidden meanings. They focus on building relationships and sharing moments. On the contrary, America is a very low context country, meaning we speak with very direct meanings. We spell things out for each other and interact more transactionally. I have definitely noticed this while abroad, especially in restaurants. As Americans, we just ask for what we need. There is not much conversation other than a quick greeting, then straight to the point of ordering. However, in Ireland that is seen as rather rude. They expect people to build a relationship with them and then throw in a request at the end of the conversation. Because of these differences, we might come off as demanding and disrespectful at times when that is not our intention. Since learning about this, I have been trying to be more conversational in circumstances where I might not normally be.
The weather here has surprisingly been beautiful. Mostly sunny and mid-60s. It has rained a few times but we definitely got extremely lucky. It was so nice today that we had lecture outside at Griffith College. Before we got into the depths of course material, we debated whether there were more eyes or legs in the world. We quickly found out the answer but I will let you figure that out for yourself. See you tomorrow!