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Blended Program Intercultural Effectiveness


Intercultural Effectiveness is an innovative training course that consists of six weeks learning in an online community, two face-to-face days and an individual IRC debrief session. The Intercultural program aims at embedding intercultural competences in the participants’ daily international work lives. Besides gaining increased insights into the effects and dynamics of cultural differences, the participants will also learn to more easily detect how intercultural misunderstandings can occur, and the role that unconscious bias can play in this sense. At the end of the course, increased intercultural competences will find expression in:

  • Adjusting your intercultural communication adequately to others whilst remaining true to yourself
  • Finding better options to reconcile different (cultural, professional and personal) perspectives, needs and interests
  • Responding more naturally to new and unpredictable circumstances and experiencing more pleasure during your international interactions

Is this course for you?

The program is aimed at professionals, teams and organisations who wish to integrate intercultural learning in the workplace.

How the course operates

The program is designed to form a powerful combination between online and face-to-face learning. During the six weeks*, participants work and study in our online learning environment, at a time that suits them (approximately two hours per week). After logging in, they can engage in challenging assignments and in interactions with the trainer and the other participants. On the two face-to-face training days, we meet each other ‘live’, to deepen our understanding of intercultural competences and effectiveness, for example, with a training actor. In addition, the individual IRC debrief session midway through the course, contributes to increasing your intercultural craftsmanship even more.

What the course covers

The starting point is the Intercultural Readiness Check© assessment tool, which provides you with an insight into the level of your intercultural competences: intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication, building commitment and managing uncertainty.

Pre-training: Individual intake

You will have an individual intake conversation by Skype or telephone with the trainer. The aim is to map your learning goals and needs and to give you personal guidance in order to get the most out of the training program.

Week 1: Culture: surface and deep culture (online)

  • You get to know your fellow participants and the learning community in which we will be working and learning together over the next six weeks
  • You will receive a first paper on critical intercultural incidents, and you work online in a subgroup on an assignment on culture

Week 2: Cultural differences and similarities (online and face-to-face days)

  • You fill in the Intercultural Readiness Check© online
  • Together, we identify the ‘red thread’ of your own personal intercultural quest, which will be central to your learning.
  • You work online in on a subgroup assignment about intercultural differences
  • The two face-to-face meetings are on Thursday and Friday at the end of the second week, and takes in:
    • Experiences and presentations on the online subgroup assignments
    • Various exercises and games
    • You will have the chance to practice a real-life scenario with a bicultural training actor or actress

Week 3: Intercultural sensitivity (online)

From the third week onwards deepening of learning will take place, with more emphasis on reflection and the online exchange among peers

  • This week the competence, Intercultural Sensitivity is our focal point, using challenging use of videos and assignments about cultural awareness and attention to signals

Week 4: Intercultural communication (online)

This week’s work deeply examines the competence Intercultural Communication, concentrating especially on active listening and adjusting communicative style

  • You will continue working online on your red thread and write a blog about your progress and insights in your work context
  • This week is the individual IRC debrief session with the trainer

Week 5: Building commitment (online)

The competence that we focus on this week is Building Commitment

  • In the online learning community you will find articles, movies and exercises about building relationships and reconciling different stakeholders’ needs
  • The people involved in this course around the world will react to each other’s input and blogs

Week 6: Managing uncertainty (online and webinar)

The last online week of the program is about Managing Uncertainty, the fourth intercultural competence. In the online community you will be guided to find some challenging exercises about openness to cultural complexity and exploring new approaches

On Friday we get together online during a webinar for a final review of the skills we have learned, and how we can apply them:

  • Each subgroup will give a brief presentation about an assignment done online during the previous weeks. Together we deepen our insights and intercultural competences.
  • You will conclude the webinar with a personal action plan.
  • This is also the final moment of the blended learning program ‘Intercultural Effectiveness’

Post-training: individual coaching (online)

After the program you will receive an additional hour follow-up coaching on your personal action plan, which will deepen and consolidate your learning and help you to apply it to your work and career context.

What Luz azul’s clients say

“Inspiring and eye-opening course on all aspects of intercultural communication.” (communication trainer)

“While thinking about the things that happened over the last six weeks, it dawned on me that I know much more than I knew before we started, and that I’ve gained new insights about the topic, my personality and my goals.” (international project manager)

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Masterclass Brain, Mind & Culture

On October 18, 2024 the next Masterclass Brain, Mind and Culture of Japan Intercultural Institute starts. This Masterclass is a blended learning course (webinars-podcasts-online learning) that introduces the latest insights of culture, brain and mind sciences to those living and working interculturally. You will gain a deeper understanding of the psychology of intercultural experiences, including: culture and cognition, biases, and deep culture learning and transformation. You will learn to be a more insightful interculturalist and learn how to encourage intercultural learning in others. Joseph Shaules and Yvonne van der Pol are your facilitators.

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