Working Effectively in International Settings


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Working Effectively in International Settings

  1. 1. GRS 290/390/490: Sept 23, 2009 Working Effectively in International Settings Part One: Intercultural Communication Katherine Beaumont, Director UBC Go Global: International Learning Programs <ul><li> </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>Kaholtik Case Study 4: A Mother’s Dilemma </li></ul><ul><li>(source: </li></ul><ul><li>Josefa’s husband died of dengue fever three years ago, just weeks after the birth of his fourth daughter. Today, it is a struggle for Josefa to independently provide her children with adequate shelter, nutritious food, clean water, and clothing. Her only sources of income are her in-home laundry business and her small garden. Recently, upon a yearly check-up of her children, Josefa was told that her 3 year-old and 4½ year-old daughters are showing early effects of malnutrition. Her eldest daughter’s (9 years old) vision problem is also worsening. As Josefa was leaving the health clinic, a foreigner handed her a shiny pamphlet and told her about a new initiative in her neighbourhood. The initiative is sponsored by the Canadian “Education for our Daughters” NGO and her municipal government. The initiative aims to build a local school for girls in order to improve the quality of life through education. </li></ul><ul><li>What might Josefa’s reaction to this project be? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Dimensions of Cultural Intelligence (Source: Elizabeth Plum) Emotional (Feeling) Intercultural Engagement Action (Doing) Intercultural Communication Cognitive (Thinking) Cultural Understanding
  4. 4. <ul><li>Where do these fit on the iceberg? Above or below the water line? </li></ul><ul><li>Describe from your cultural perspective the way these ideas/actions are carried out </li></ul>
  5. 5. Working Effectively Across Cultures <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>You have been at your placement for a few weeks. In the first week you spent some time observing, listening and asking questions. You got a good sense of the program, and how you could fit in. You and your other UBC teammates sat down together and brainstormed some activities. You presented to the staff at the community organization and you got lots of positive feedback. The trouble is, you’ve been trying for two weeks to get a meeting with the Director – you need his approval to get things moving but he’s always busy, or traveling. You also are having trouble getting all the staff to come to a training meeting – this is really important so that they’ll have the training to run the activities by the time you leave. They all SAID they’d come to the first meeting, but only half showed up. You’ve got great ideas but the way things are going, you’re just sitting around wasting your time. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>What strategies will you use to address these challenges? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Interculturally Effective Person (Source: Volpe, Kealey, Prothoroe, Thomas, MacDonald, 2001) <ul><ul><li>Adaptation skills: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interculturally Effective Persons (IEPs) have the ability to cope personally, professionally, and in their family context with the conditions and challenges of living and working in another culture. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An attitude of modesty and respect: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IEPs demonstrate modesty about their own culture’s answers to problems and a respect for the ways of the local culture, are humble about their knowledge of the local context, and are therefore willing to learn much and consult with locals before coming to conclusions on issues. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An understanding of the concept of culture: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IEPs have an understanding of the concept of culture and the pervasive influence it will have on their life and work abroad. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of the host country and culture: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IEPs possess knowledge of the host country and culture and try constantly to expand that knowledge. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship building: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IEPs possess good relationship building skills, both social/personal and professional. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self knowledge: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of one’s own background, motivations, strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intercultural communication: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IEPs are effective intercultural communicators . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational skills: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IEPs strive to improve the quality of organizational structures, processes, and staff morale, and promote a positive atmosphere in the workplace. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal and professional commitment: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IEPs have a high level of personal and professional commitment to the assignment and the life experience in another culture. </li></ul></ul>