Business PF



Learning how to communicate with German & International Colleagues

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Our 1st semester MBA students were invited to learn about intercultural communication in the form of a 1-day workshop, designed and presented by Mrs. Barbara Sametinger, founder of Sametinger Business English and Cross-Cultural Training. Mrs. Sametinger is a communication and leadership consultant with over 20 years’ experience and has worked with various multinational teams in corporations, and with business professionals.
The session started with a bang as students were, through interactive exercises, exposed to the perceptional bias individuals possess. Students learned how perception and culture influence the way individuals think and process information and how this impacts the behaviour of people around them.
Mrs. Sametinger then emphasized the importance of knowing oneself and their respective culture, values, morals, and ethics as this is the most important and foremost step to dealing with people from different cultures. The workshop then transitioned into the practical work life in Germany where students were supposed to differentiate their working style from the German workforce. This paved the way for the ``Cultural Compass``, a framework with 5 aspects of behaviour while working professionally, which can differ from person to person, to be introduced to the attendees so that they can adjust their own compass according to the people and the context.
The students were then taught about German culture in detail and the cultural standards inherent within Germans. They were given practical tips to approaching cultural differences they would likely encounter in their work as well as life in general. Crucial aspects of relationship building were discussed. The students were then divided into groups and individual case studies were assigned to them regarding various aspects of intercultural differences. The case studies were practical, relevant, and thought-provoking. It enabled the students to put into practice what they had learned till now and to develop perspectives regarding communicating with different cultures.
After the cases, the students were taught about handling 2-way feedback i.e., how to give and effectively receive feedback. Case studies and interactive exercises were held to ensure sufficient application of feedback delivery and response. The session ended with a short lecture on intercultural competence and a Q+A session.
Students took away a lot of practical skills regarding intercultural management and practical soft skills that they could start using right away from the workshop.

Text: Shantanu Damle, Class of 2024