INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION IN RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS

TRAINING: INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO SUCCEED AS A RESEARCHER AND LEARN FROM CONFLICTS

I give these trainings together with my partner Yu-Xuan Lu, PhD (read about his trainer profile at the end of this page).

All our trainings can be booked both online and on-site and will be tailored to your needs. So far, we have given one intercultural communication training for young international researchers who have just arrived in Germany, and we are planning a training in the context of conflicts within a research group and external stakeholders.

TARGET GROUPS

International and German PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers, either newly arrived in Germany/ having just started their position at your international research institution OR participants facing difficulties due to conflicting communication styles.

CONTENT AND GOALS

Is there a typically German “style” for making decisions, for giving (negative) feedback, or for passing on information? Or a style typical for your institute or your team? If so, in what respects is that “style” different from that of another research institution or another country? What role do individual people’s personalities play in a cross-cultural working environment? 

In this workshop, we attempt some answers to these questions through interactive exchange, reflection and a little theoretical input. The interplay of individual personalities, country-specific cultures, and characteristics of the organisation as well as the chosen career paths of its members – all that accounts for a dynamic working culture that comes with its own challenges and, sometimes, conflicts. For newcomers and old hands alike, this may prove both stimulating and demanding. In this seminar, we examine models that try to map characteristics of national cultures (focusing on Germany, and including some other countries) and we identify personal behavioural dimensions that can help participants adapt to and succeed in their teams.

Participants increase their awareness of culture specific aspects within their team and their organisation with the help of cultural models (we use Meyer’s Culture Scales and Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions). They reflect and discuss their own critical incidents in the context of their intercultural experience in order to evaluate the effectiveness of their used behaviours and to adapt them.

METHODS

It is important to us that the participants of our workshops have many opportunities to exchange, discuss and work in different-sized groups, to give and receive peer feedback and to self-reflect. Therefore, our methodical focus lies on participant interaction as well as interaction with the trainers. 

In addition to this general didactic approach, we use different models and methods for our trainings, such as:

  •  Critical incidents
  • Culture Assimilator
  • Peer and trainer feedback
  • Exchange with peers
  • Presentation of culture models that help contextualise participants’ individual experience

YU-XUAN LU, PHD – TRAINER PROFILE

PhD in Molecular Biology (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong, China). Postdoctoral researcher at the MPI for Biology of Ageing in Cologne. Over four years of experience in scientific community engagement and science policy in the German research landscape. Works with researchers and administrative staff in diverse cultural backgrounds. Certified trainer for intercultural communication by the European Institute for Intercultural Development.

FEEDBACK FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS

I particularly enjoyed the interaction with the other attendees. This live interaction was definitely the most useful part of the seminar and I hope it will remain the most important part of the seminar in the future because what else can raise our culture awareness other than having representatives from those cultures speak for themselves?

Anonymous feedback

Max-Planck-Society | Online

Both speakers were competent and backed up their points with qualified sources. I appreciated the casual atmosphere.

Anonymous feedback

Max Planck-Society | Online

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