Global Team Work & Diversity & Intercultural Communication Training

One of the core competencies GTEC seeks to develop is the ability to work and communicate effectively in intercultural teams. To that end, current GTEC teams in both the US and the UK have participated in workshops lead by diversity and intercultural communication consultant Tatyana Fertelmeyster. Below is Tatyana's description of the importance of intercultural competence in 21st century engineering, and the training GTEC members have received:

To be a competent engineer used to mean knowing a variety of applicable technical disciplines and having skills to apply one’s knowledge to specific engineering projects. In today’s increasingly global world all of it is equally needed but not enough. As global teams are becoming an everyday reality in business and industry, engineers of today and even more so of tomorrow should be competent in working with colleagues from different cultures both face-to-face and virtually.

The Global Technology & Engineering Consortium’s Pilot Project will offer its participants an opportunity to combine their technical learning (working together on an engineering project) with intercultural learning (working together on an engineering project and having a structured learning experience about effective intercultural communication and teamwork).

Interculturally competent person

Interculturally competent team

Creating a team that works well across cultures requires an investment of time into structured education in intercultural communication and teambuilding. This initial investment pays off through team members’ ability to work effectively together and access diverse sources of creativity, various skills and different thinking styles.

The intercultural competency development part of the Project will incorporate an array of tools offered by Cultural Detective® to

Cultural Detective® method is based on recognition of the fact that cultures and specifically cultural values play a significant role in our behaviors and in our interpretation of other people’s words and actions. Our inevitably different perspectives create cultural gaps and it takes true intercultural competency to be able to bridge them.

Learning to better understand one’s own and other’s reasons and motivations allows for our ability to interpret various situations in a way that leads to better understanding rather than misunderstanding. This provides an opportunity for creative bridging – finding new solutions and developing new skills invaluable for the global workforce of the 21st century.