On April 22, 2022, the International Management Department of IMT Nord Europe organised a 2-day seminar for 120 second-year students about Intercultural Communication.
The activity simulated the difficulties that one can encounter when moving to a new culture or a new company or when managing a diverse team, or any kind of transition that can happen in life. It can also be a metaphor for culture shock, with the different phases of transition and adaptation.
It deals with the difficulties that one may come across (langage barrier, non verbal communication, preconceptions, tendency to evaluate, assumption of similarity and stress) and the feelings and reactions that one may have when confronted with a misunderstood situation.
The simulation also addresses some key skills for Intercultural Communication and for future managers: being flexible, patient, curious, listening and observing, keeping a sense of humour…
Quote from the game designer, Sivasailam Thiagarajan:
“It places people in a situation where they actually experience the shock of realising that in spite of many similarities, people from another culture have differences in the way they do things.
Players learn that they must understand and reconcile the differences if they want to function effectively in a diverse environment”.
Some students’ voices:
“The simulation in class was very interesting and awakening.”
“This simulation allows us to be in the centre of what a multicultural meeting with no organisation could look like!”
“I think the simulation is very relevant because even though theoretical teaching is good, it will never surpass a simulation: practice makes perfect!”
“It was a very simple yet very efficient example of cultural relativity and I think it’s very important for a future engineer to understand this concept”.