Intercultural Competence Workshop #2

This is the second workshop, in a series of 4, focusing on intercultural competences. If you missed the first workshop you are still welcome to join the second!

What does it mean to be interculturally competent? What skills, knowledge and attitudes do you need to have? How can these be acquired, trained or refined? Inspired by years of training- and consulting practice within different working areas (education, student-exchange programmes, international business, civil society and international cooperation), a theoretical framework was developed by the expertise centre CIMIC (Centre for Intercultural Management and International Communication). The "Frame of Reference for Intercultural Competence" gives us concrete insight into nine relevant components of intercultural competence. Nine components in which a part of the knowledge, skills and attitudes are contained. What do you have to 'know', 'be able to do' and also 'be' in order to act professionally in this multifaceted world?

This will be the second workshop in a series of 4 workshops during the year. Although the topics of each of the 4 workshops are connected, it is not necessary to join all 4 to join the workshops. 

Workshop 2, Saturday, August 20th: Exploring 3 of the components (Conflict Management, developing multiple perspectives, and resilience).

In the first workshop we covered the overview the whole model, thus understanding that the development of intercultural competence is a dynamic, lifelong process of transformation. All different components are connected and affected by one another. It is actually a bit like 'chemistry': bringing together the right, often already known components, in the right time, produces a functional process, a qualitative reaction. In the second workshop we will try to understand where we stand in our individual processes in relation to each component, take stock and have a lively discussion on where we want to go next.

Workshop 2 topics:

  • acknowledging (less positive) feelings towards cultural differences
  • knowing how to hold your ground in an unfamiliar environment
  • overcoming stress and negative feelings caused by difficult intercultural encounter 
  • defining  and maintaining your personal boundaries in the context of intercultural encounter
  • dealing with the presence of differing conflict management-styles
  • understanding the presence of different views and opinions in a conversation as an added value
  • balancing between differences and similarities.

One of the central challenges when venturing into the even more diverse world is to not shy away from the frictions or even conflicts that this endeavor might entail. In this workshop, we look for levers to discuss the idea of culture shock in a positive and constructive way. The coined ‘clash of cultures’ is a sterile concept that brings little evolution or gain. It seems to imply that different groups will just 'bang' their different world views against each other, the disagreement being endless. How can we go for a different kind of friction, one that creates shine?  We look at concepts like 'conflict management',  'multi-perspectiveness' and ' resilience' to understand how  while ‘running in’ to each other, we  can communicate, effectively reconcile and negotiate both similarities and differences. We will put our insights to the test, looking at our own lived experiences and sharing our personal 'culture shocks'. 

Practical information for Workshop 2

  • In English
  • Free (learn more about why this is event is free here)
  • Location: International House Leuven
  • Registration required, via Eventbrite
  • Speaker: Professor Gunilla de Graef

Overview of the 9 components:

· Cultural self-knowledge: knowing your own frame of reference and roots

- Cultural flexibility: willingness to adapt and explore alternatives

· Cultural resilience: ability to overcome stress and negative feelings caused by difficult intercultural encounter

· Cultural receptiveness: openness to listen to other views and capacity to correctly position own views and ideas

· Cultural knowledge: interest in exploring factual knowledge on cultural differences and capacity to use this knowledge in an appropriate manner

· Cultural relational competence: willingness to invest time and energy in the building of trust and willingness to connect

· Cultural communicative competence: ability to explore the particularities of own communication style and approaches, to remediate if necessary and to explore the communication style and approach of counterparts

· Cultural conflict management: consciousness of potential positive forces of intercultural conflict and knowledge of own conflict management style

· Multiperspectiveness: able to view a single issue from different perspectives and appreciating this various perspectives

General info

Saturday 20 August 2022
10:00 - 13:00
International House Leuven
International House Leuven
Tiensevest 60
3000 Leuven
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