Seven is a returning number in the synthetic theory of the universe, humankind and religion.
In analogy with the 7 dimensional structure of the reality and of the human psyche, there exists a model that proposes a set of 7 different axis along which cultures differentiate one from another.
Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner concluded that what distinguishes people from one culture compared with another is where these preferences fall in one of the following seven dimensions:
- Universalism versus particularism; what is more important – rules or relationships?
- Individualism versus communitarianism; do we function as individuals or as a group?
- Specific versus diffuse; involvement, commitment and context. How separate do we keep or private and professional life?
- Neutral versus emotional; do we display our emotions?
- Achievement versus ascription; do we have to prove ourselves to be given status or is it given t us?
- Sequential time versus synchronous time; do we do things one at the time or do we do several things at once?
- Internal direction versus outer direction; strategy and planning. Do we control our environment or are we controlled by it?
You can use the model to understand people from different cultural backgrounds better, so that you can prevent misunderstandings and enjoy a better relationship with them.