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Improving Cross Cultural Communication


I am developing an interactive workshop ton Improving Cross-Cultural Communications site. The target audience is Construction workers. I have learned from experience these employees prefer things they can practice on their jobs after they leave the workshops. I want activites to teach Hofstede's Cultural Dimesnions Model. The activites need to have aspects they can implement on the Construction sites. Anyone have ideas or experience in this? I appreciate all new ideas and advice!

2 Responses

  1. Improving Cross Cultural Communication – Ideas
    Do you need to use Hofstede? There are limitations as this research was only conducted in one organisation IBM – so quite different from a construction site.

    What have you done as part of your Learning Needs Analysis?

    It may be a useful starting place to establish exactly what the workers find difficult about communicating across cultures, this could then help you develop some role plays on real work situations and also form your evaluation. For example, what do they want to learn and how? Sounds like anything that is hands on and practical will work for their learning styles.

    If I think some aspects of Diversity may be useful – to treat people how they want to be treated, not how we think they want to be treated. This could be a discussion where delegates agree how things will be moving forward. You could also do an exercise using pictures and words, for example matching them to different stereotypes that exist about different cultures and link this to those found in your industry. This would then lead into a discussion about mindsets and prejudices and how they can be challenged. This could then be a lead in to Hofstede to get the delegates to understand and relate to differences.

    Are there problems around conflict – this may also be something you may want to touch on. Hofstede would link nicely into this as you could then look at the reasons why conflict might occur, due to value sets that impact communication. You might then use conflict management techniques and use real situations for delegates to work through.

    If you do use Hofstede, you could do a continuum or use objects from the construction site that represent the different cultural dimensions to activate the memory. The learners could then place the objects and themselves on the different dimensions. You could use space and distance to represent the gap and use discussion for learners about how they can close this gap in the workplace.

    The website is useful to show the different dimensions for a host of countries.

  2. Cultural Connections
    We sell a game called ‘cultural connections’ – it explores sterotypes, assumptions and also uses the knowledge of the group.

    Simple card game, easy to play, and very revealing as well as education. May be a useful add on.

    Let me know if of interest.

    Good luck,

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