MAINZ Complementary Skills Workshop: "Communication in International & Interdisciplinary Teams" 2019


Intensive 2-day workshop 25-26 April 2019
Exercise-based learning 9 am until 5 pm
12 participants maximum MAINZ seminar room


This workshop prepares participants to engage in international projects and inter-cultural cooperation. Through the process of reflection and targeted group exercises, students will cultivate a deeper awareness of their own cultural nuances and the tools for effective collaboration with diverse teams in international / interdisciplinary working environments. Ultimately, this workshop will make participants feel more secure when acting in an international setting and empower them to realize their own potential.

  What you will learn

  • Rules for the successful cooperation of interdisciplinary / international research teams
  • Challenges and areas of conflict in international / interdisciplinary cooperation
  • Basic principles of a constructive and objective-oriented discussion technique
  • Conflict management: Strategies for the clarification of discrepancies


How you will be able to behave after the workshop

  • Awareness of your own role in the team
  • Giving and receiving constructive feedback as a member of a team; knowing and making use of your own ability to contribute to the team effort
  • Reflecting on your own culture: Me and my surroundings; what is my background, and in what ways has it shaped me?


What makes it important?

 This workshop prepares PhD students for working in diverse teams. It cultivates the students’ soft skills and communication tools essential for successful international and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Why is Communication in international & interdisciplinary teams named a professional competence?

The communication of a group as a whole, with its individual members and with external parties, leads to the creation of bonds within the group at both the personal and the professional levels and helps create professional synergies.


This will be major topics during the Workshop

  • Approaches to inter-cultural cooperation
  • Reflection on own cultural nuances and building understanding of diverse cultural nuances
  • Simulations of dynamic team processes and team roles in working environment
  • Realization of own impact within a diverse team


How you will be working during the Workshop - Workshop Framework

Participants will analyze the most common difficulties and areas of conflict that arise in international projects and inter-cultural encounters discussing case studies and real-life examples. The group will try to find explanations and will define viable approaches to intercultural cooperation. Participants will reflect on their own conduct in an international / interdisciplinary working environment. In the process, students will also define the cultural aspects that they have in common with people from a different cultural background, and identify the ones they do not share. They will learn to understand the way their colleagues and projects partners act and react. This will make participants feel more secure when acting in an international setting. The second day will be dedicated to dynamic team processes and team roles in the working environment. Participants will work with project simulations that will help them become more aware of the contribution they can make when working with a team, and of what their strengths are. At the end of the seminar students will give and receive detailed feedback to and from one of the other participants on their team skills, the impact they can make on cooperation within a team and the potential they can tap into.


Key components of the workshop framework include:

  • Exchange of experience
  • Consultation and advice among colleagues, analysis and discussion of case studies
  • Group exercises, role plays
  • Presentation and group discussion Film clips


Who should attend - Workshop Participants

Doctoral candidates in current and/or future international/interdisciplinary working settings.


Your trainer – Profile + Experiences

Dr. Natasha Fletcher has twenty years of experience in higher education at an American university. She regularly hosts writing workshops for faculty members, Ph.D. students, and post-docs and has experience in moderation, facilitation, and scientific writing. As assistant dean, she facilitated numerous writing and research workshops to hundreds of students, and designed and implemented a first-year-student program that provided students with reading and writing assistance. As associate director of a research centre, she has managed a variety of research projects and has written and published a book, several articles, and book chapters.

Natasha is certified in Foundations of Management, Foundations of Effective Communication, and has completed a Leadership Program for Women Scientists and Scholars. She has sixteen years of experience teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Urban Studies and Public Policy. Natasha has a Ph.D. in Planning and Public Policy from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and is a native speaker in English and German and is also fluent in Dutch.