Intercultural Sensitivity Workshop & World Café at Robert Bosch GmbH

In the realm of intercultural training, intensive cooperation is already taking place between Robert Bosch GmbH and ti communication, especially regarding the preparation of employees being sent on foreign assignments. It hardly even matters where they are going; our network of experts spans the globe: from Singapore to Portugal, the Netherlands, China and Saudi Arabia, all the way to Australia.

This year, we had the opportunity to support the Robert Bosch company using a different format: On the occasion of an international conference with participants from Germany, China, the USA and Japan, our trainers Anna Corbett and Susanne Taylor conducted a 2.5-hour workshop.

Our experts began by introducing a few intercultural basics, such as various cultural dimensions:

  • Task-oriented vs. relationship-oriented
  • High-context vs. low-context cultures
  • Direct vs. indirect communication


Right from the start, participants became aware of a few differences, and it began to dawn on some of them as to why, in the past, tensions were able to develop when communicating with foreign colleagues from time to time: Because, although many participants had known each other for years, during collaborative work, “challenging” situations, conflicts or misunderstandings occasionally arose.

In order to foster the exchange of information and actively involve all participants, following the introductory presentation of the workshop, a so-called world café took place. This is an interactive event format very suited to larger groups.

The participants were first divided into groups. In these groups, they reflected on and discussed behavioral expectations in conflict, management and feedback situations based on concrete questions. In addition, the various demands in treating each other respectfully were examined, as was the influence of cultural characteristics on the daily work of the participants.

Ultimately, both similar as well as very different demands to expected or desired behavior were determined. The implicitness of one’s own behavioral expectations were put into perspective, thus allowing an initial basis for exchange. The “effectiveness” of the world café was also evident in the subsequent evening event, where workshop participants continued to exchange thoughts on the perspectives and insights each had gained.

Participant feedback was consistently positive. They assessed the highly-interactive event as very entertaining, and the results and impulses supplied within that short period of time as very valuable.

Would you like to give your employees the chance to change perspectives, broaden their horizons and experience the opportunities provided by intercultural competence? We would be happy to prepare an offer tailored to your needs. Just contact our customer service representatives!

"Emotional intelligence for mutual understanding" ...
Podcast: Global business communication and culture

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Wednesday, 22 November 2017
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