21 oktober 2005

Before lecture 5: intercultural leadership

A question to think about before the next lecture: What characteristics does it take to have an intercultural leader? Use the comments to react.

Some possible directions:
- charisma
- playing with media (e.g. role of the internet)
- linguistic ability
- thinker vs. doer
- knowing everything about two (or more) cultures

17 oktober 2005

Lecture 4: Intercultural competence

Last week I sent you home with this.

With your answers, I would like to make these afterthoughts:

  • The image we have of e.g. a German (punctual, hi-tech industry, conservative) does not always correspond with reality (German economy and industry is not doing well lately, they've had up to now a left government for the last 6-7 years).
  • The image we have of a group (e.g. Muslims) is not always an exhaustive one. The first thing that comes up is terrorism, extreme violence, no rights for women, fundamentalist religion. Only later we mention the important social network (relatives, helping poor people,...), if we will mention it at all.
  • Sometimes we can say a lot about people (e.g. Americans) or our knowledge can be very limited (e.g. Congolese: we know they're black, but that is really it...).
  • We (I mean: in Western Europe) should be a bit more open-minded towards Eastern European people; we still consider them to be part of the Eastern Block (Cold War ended 16 years ago, and yet...). Getting to know our Macedonian guest students, we try to do something about that view.
  • If I missed something (I deliberately did about Portuguese and Belgian), please add in the comments.