38. Maximizing Intercultural Teams

Session III B: July 23-25, 2018

Intercultural teams can be both rewarding and challenging. Diversity in teams can result in better outcomes, but diverse team members may face obstacles in learning to work together. In this workshop, we will examine the challenges and benefits of intercultural teams, with an emphasis on conceptual frameworks and best practices for making the most of intercultural team collaborations.

Designed for

Anyone who works with groups and teams in any context (face to face or virtually), including trainers, managers, supervisors, team members, and educators.

Workshop Objectives

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Examine the role of culture in group and team formation, effectiveness, and communication
  • Examine the importance of both task and relational communication in diverse groups
  • Learn about research on intercultural teams, including the benefits and challenges of diverse teams
  • Develop skills in talking about cultural differences in groups, as well as ways to teach students or clients about culture in easy-to-understand (non-academic) ways in training, teaching, and consulting contexts

Learning Activities

  • Experiential activities designed to make sense of theories and concepts in concrete ways
  • Short lectures and discussion on concepts related to culture in teams and groups
  • Case studies examining real life contexts
  • Partner and small group discussions about how to apply and share the workshop material in your own contexts
Mary Meares intercultural communication in the workplace

Dr. Mary Meares is an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Alabama, where her research focuses on intercultural groups, virtual teams, workplace diversity, mistreatment, and perceptions of voice. She has taught intercultural and organizational communication in the U.S. and Japan, was named the Faculty Mentor of the Year at Washington State University, and recently served as the first intercultural specialist for the Semester at Sea comparative cultures study abroad program. She has consulted for educational, corporate, and public service organizations in the areas of intercultural transitions, team building, and conflict. Mary also provides career development sessions for participants at SIIC and teaches yoga.