How do we act in an international team? What are our favourite roles and ways of communication?
The task: To strengthen a team of managers and engineers from 12 nations across the globe from Vietnam to Canada. The challenge from intercultural training specialists Eidam&Partner to us was to design an intercultural team training that also involved outdoor elements. Together with my colleague Mala Ullal we developed an outdoor team training that aimed to develop sensitivity and awareness for cultural, gender-based and professional perceptions and preconceptions. We decided to facilitate real-life experiences and challenges to the team that could then be used as a basis for reflection and transfer to real work situations. Through exercises out- and indoor, participants were invited to reflect on four key aspects:
- their own cultural preconceptions and dispositions
- their role/behaviour in group action
- challenges to communication in a multicultural background
- the value of empathy and wholesome communication
OK, I admit we didn’t make it easy for the team: They had to scramble through the woods, get sweaty and dirty, create artworks out of nothing, play games where the rules don’t fit and overcome almost insurmountable communication barriers. But with the spirit that gets sparked in challenging situations, they made it! It was a pleasure to see how out of a group of individual, very skilled but rather isolated participants, slowly a group emerged that dared to share and care for each other. I believe the group took home a bountiful harvest for their hard work: Not only skills and tools for intercultural awareness, not only experiences of successful cooperation in very challenging settings, but a feeling what it can mean to trust and be involved in your team with your whole heart. The feedback says it all: “This was the best training we have ever made!” More are sure to come…
If you are interested to develop your international team, I am looking forward to develop a training process with you that suits your special needs and desired outcomes. If you are planning a larger scale process, I can integrate my network of skilled and internationally experienced trainers and coaches. Please contact me to find out more.
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