Registration: Leading international work groups or teams: leading people from different cultural backgrounds - Postdocs and doctoral researchers at the end of their PhD

Venue: FNO 01/171
Time: 10.00 - ca. 17.30 h (with 1 h lunchbreak)
Trainer: Verena Piper
Language: English
Participants: max. 12 persons


This workshop is designed for postdoctoral researchers (and doctoral researchers at the end of their PhD) who want to advance their intercultural communciation skills for leading teams and work groups with people from different cultural backgrounds. 


Course description

Multinational (research) teams have an enormous innovative and creative potential. However, communication behaviour, knowledge concepts, mindsets, time constraints and different working styles can be a source of miscommunication that in the end can be challenging for all actors involved. Team members from different cultures often have a different understanding of work processes, leadership responsibilities and task commitment or personal engagement. To successfully deal with these differences will also avoid misunderstanding or ambiguity that would draw additional energy from all team members.


As postdocs you will be responsible for different leadership responsibilities including team leadership for researchers and students from different cultures: supervising doctoral and master candidates, leading your own work group, collaborating with peers, reporting to your boss, and at the same time working on your own project. While communication with researchers from different cultures and countries at conferences and in your peer network is mostly easy communicating with people who are working for you as well as with your boss might look different in case of different cultural backgrounds. Leading a multicultural team to successful results demands intercultural sensitivity, specific intercultural communication skills and the ability to build up relationships and to establishing commitment. The development of adequate intercultural communication skills is crucial for establishing a team culture that values all team members.


In this workshop you can learn how intercultural communication competence will support you in accomplishing your leadership tasks and goals. You will acquire strategies that help you to deal with possible challenges that arise when leading an international work group. With reference to practical exercises by sharing personal experiences and looking at case studies you will improve your skills in handling work place situations in a culturally sensitive way. We will use a variety of methods and the workshop setting will follow an interactive approach


During the workshop we will find answers to the following questions:

  • How does culture influence communication and behavior in the workplace? What skills do you need to become a successful leader in international settings?
  • In which way do different cultural values influence the decision making process of you as a team leader, your team members and your students?
  • What are the dimensions that describe similarities and differences among cultures (e.g. German cultural expectations towards leadership)? How are employees motivated across cultures? What drives people to be committed? What is our personal cultural preference concerning the leadership style?
  • How can we assure successful multicultural team work? What can you do to create a positive climate for a multicultural team? What can you do to make new team members feel welcome in the team?
  • What are the sources of potential conflicts in leading a multicultural team? How are conflict styles influenced by culture? What aspects do you as a team leader have to solve intercultural conflicts? What are the communication strategies that help you to solve conflicts?
  • What personal strategies help you to cope with the cultural challenges and uncertainties? How can you as a team leader and at the same time as a team member apply effective communication strategies and thus build trustworthy relationships with other team members?



Verena Piper is an experienced trainer in intercultural communication, psychologist and mediator. She spent several years in Canada and Mexico and runs intercultural tranings in research institutions and companies.


If you register as Postdoc please use THE REGISTRATION FORM at the end of the Postdoc page!

Date: 19.–20.11.2018

Register now

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