What do you need to keep in mind as an Indian interacting with German colleagues? How do culture and values differ between these two countries? And what is important to know about intercultural meetings?
These were only some of the questions which 12 employees of different departments in Lufthansa Technik Services India Pvt. Ltd. were seeking answers to. In the course of their everyday business, all of them are dealing with German people on the phone or via email and were thus eager to learn about their country and culture. In this month of October 2016, Ms. Amrita Gandikota, Program Co-ordinator at IGTC, organised and conducted an interactive one day Indo-German Intercultural Training Programme for them.
Some of the attendees had already been to Germany before and happily shared the culture clash experiences they had lived, while others had scheduled business trips to the country within near future and were eager to learn how to bridge the gap between the Indian and German culture.
The program started with an introduction of the participants who were then asked to draw their own individual flag and describe what “culture” means to them. Afterwards, a wide range of topics was discussed, including facts and figures about Germany, a comparison of both Indian and German work culture and business values, as well as thoughts to be kept in mind during business meetings and when communicating with Germans. In between, activities, quizzes and exercises awaited the participants in order to keep them involved and motivated.
All together amusement, astonishment and keen interest were shown by the participants and everybody wanted to use this opportunity to learn how to avoid potential intercultural conflicts in their future business life.
Evidently, one day was just not enough to convert the participants in overall experts in German culture but the training definitely achieved the objective of creating awareness and understanding of the two different cultures in order to prepare for intercultural job situations in the future.