Polishing the cultural eyeglasses - eMag Interview (3)

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Polishing the cultural eyeglasses - eMag Interview (3)

For years now, ti communication has been working as a partner and provider for intercultural training and coaching for Infineon Technologies AG. In order to make its employees aware of available training courses and to show why intercultural training is worthwhile, Infineon is publishing a series of interviews with our trainers in its own employee magazine. The series "Cultures, Communication and Clichés" addresses the challenges, country-specific clichés and traps of intercultural communication. In an interview, Dorothea Hegner speaks with eMag about her experiences as a cross-cultural trainer and explains the fine cultural differences found even between neighboring countries such as Switzerland and Germany. Her areas of specialization: Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

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Best Practice for Intercultural Competence: Germany, Austria and Switzerland – so close and yet so far!

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Rhomberg-en

The Rhomberg Group, with several locations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, has been achieving successful international work for years in the realms of construction, resources and railway technology. As part of their efforts, Rhomberg always builds on sustainability and places great value in social development! We spoke with Manuela Pölki, an employee in the Human Resources department at Rhomberg Bau in Bregenz, Austria, about the cultural differences between Austria and its neighbours, Germany and Switzerland.

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ti communication in Zurich - On site for you - in Switzerland & worldwide

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ti communication in Zurich - On site for you - in Switzerland & worldwide

NEW: ti communication in Switzerland! ti communication is your local team for international success! After opening our agency in China in January of this year, ti communication has now launched its bureau in Switzerland. In the interview on the next page you‘ll find out more about ti communication in Switzerland and Dorothea Hegner, your contact person in Zurich.

ti communication: How do ti communication customers profit from the new Switzerland office?
Dorothea Hegner: Firstly, especially the Swiss customers will profit, but also those from Southern Germany and Liechtenstein, who can now enjoy more intensive and comprehensive support locally: Nothing can take place of a personal conversation. The proximity to our customers is particularly useful in more complex mandates and projects that we can coordinate and operate group-wide, according to uniform standards. Existing customers in Germany also profit from the extended network, because they have access to additional, highly qualified trainers for training sessions on Switzerland as needed.

The same language – the same culture? Is there even a need for intercultural training within the context of Germany and Switzerland?
You bring up a touchy subject. “With Germans? I have no problem at all with them”, is something I hear a lot, and in my work as an intercultural trainer, I see many good examples of functioning collaboration between Swiss and Germans. Nonetheless, there are cultural differences, especially regarding communication, that repeatedly lead to misunderstandings, tension and conflict. While personnel representatives immediately think of intercultural preparation before sending someone to China, hardly anyone would think it would also be an especially good idea for an extended stay in Switzerland and that becoming familiar with Swiss culture can happen much quicker and with much less friction loss. To assume that the same language = the same culture would be a false conclusion, because even the language itself does exhibit differences. In addition: In February, the Swiss took on the mass emigration initiative, which, in part, is harsh criticism of the Germans, which, in turn, makes German specialists insecure and can affect their work. In such a case, it helps to be better able to read and understand the Swiss and interact with them more confidently.

How does ti communication fit your personality? What do you like about your collaboration?
I am an entrepreneur at heart and primarily think from the viewpoint of the customer: What does he really need to attain goals as optimally as possible, how can we support him best, and which services would I want in his situation? In addition, values such as honesty, teamwork and analytical and strategic thinking are essential. I can identify very well with ti communication’s professionalism and concept of service and fulfil the high demands on quality our customers have in an optimal way.

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