I arrived in the former Soviet Union in 1986 paranoid and full of trepidation. Many in the United States had warned me about entering the “evil empire,” and I had watched movies and read books that bolstered this view. Initially, everything I saw in Moscow confirmed my biases. Unconscious beliefs surfaced and became conscious. My views changed when I flew to Ukraine to teach at the University of Odessa. There I met a Soviet English professor who looked similar to me. As we became close friends, we discovered many things in common. Our similarities surprised us. Learn more in the Thunderbird Knowledge Network video below.
Dr. Eileen Borris, a licensed psychologist, is the author of “Finding Forgiveness” (McGraw-Hill). She is Director of Training for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy in Washington, D.C., and teaches cross-cultural communication and negotiation at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. In addition to her work with full-time students, she teaches in the Thunderbird Online program, Executive Certificate in Global Negotiations.
Lessons from Russia: Dr. Eileen Borris, adjunct Thunderbird professor, talks Sept. 1, 2011, about cross-cultural lessons from Russia. View the video on YouTube (2:42).