Course Outcomes

This course on building effective teams through a better understanding of culture, identity, and perception will:

  • Illustrate how culture impacts workplace interactions. 
  • Explain how understanding identity dynamics can enhance a team’s effectiveness.
  • Increase awareness of perception challenges and introduce strategies to address those obstacles.
  • Provide practical and immediate skills-building experiences for participants to apply new knowledge.

Course Overview

Diversity awareness is a great first step in understanding others. Yet, it is just that, a beginning. From management to operations, successful organizations and teams move past awareness and toward understanding and appreciation. This interactive workshop for teams examines aspects of culture that are both expected and unanticipated.  The program’s primary goal is to help participants begin to build a workplace culture that integrates cultural diversity as a strength. Throughout the session, participants will look at how culture, identity, and perception work together to influence how people communicate.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain why it is important for a diverse team to move beyond the awareness stage.
  • Describe identity and how identities influence communication and group dynamics. 
  • Constructively respond when a team experiences the negative impacts of cultural misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
  • Explain bias and how it influences perception.
  • Use what they’ve learned about culture, identity, and perception to strengthen their teams.

Workshop Outline

Culture Club: Understanding and Getting the Most from a Multicultural Workplace

This course begins with exercises and activities that explore the complexities of the multicultural world in which we live.  Building on new insights, participants will reflect on how cultural dynamics affect workplace productivity and effective teams.  They will also discuss the value of diversity on teams and methods for channeling cultural diversity into productive professional gains.

See Me, See You: Exploring Identity

In the next segment of this workshop, participants will expand their understanding of how they see each other relates to how they see themselves.  Using an exercise that is reflective and interactive, this part of the course explores the complexity of identity.  During this portion of the program, participants will learn how multiple identities work and the ways in which identities surface or are suppressed.  

Reality Check: Understanding Perception

Drawing upon the previous discussion, this part of the workshop explores several complex elements related to perception. Through a series of activities, participants will examine perception challenges related to motivations and intentions.  Following those exercises, we will look at methods for incorporating specific actions to address perception discrepancies proactively and effectively back on the job.

Bias: Recognizing Filters 

In this program segment, we’ll examine bias and how people tend to navigate another’s experience through a lens that reflects their own history. For instance, in most Western cultures, eye contact is viewed as assertiveness and a sign of respect. In Eastern cultures, however, looking at someone directly is often seen as disrespectful. At work, a person raised in a Western culture would most likely view a lack of eye contact as rude, not realizing that his subordinate who was raised thousands of miles away, intended to communicate the opposite message. Following that discussion, we’ll discuss techniques for recognizing bias and the neuroscience behind how people develop prejudice and stereotypes.

By the conclusion of this cross-cultural course for teams, participants should understand how to build a stronger team based on their understanding of culture, identity, and perception.