By Corinne O’Brien, Global Competency Intern
I work in the Office of Global Competency Training at The International Center. This office appealed to me during the interview process because I thought that I would be able to meet a lot of interesting and inspiring people. As it turns out, these kinds of people engage with The International Center on a daily basis in all of its offices. The office is always bustling with activity and visitors, from volunteers to foreign dignitaries to board members and corporate clients. I have found that the Training Office is particularly well-suited to my interests as a business major.
I view Global Competency Training as cultural consulting. The concept of consulting is that a professional provides expert advice in a particular area. Having been introduced to management consulting and technology consulting, cultural consulting is a new idea. However, the need for it has become increasingly evident to me during my first month here: companies based in Indianapolis are becoming increasingly global, making the need for cultural training greater and more apparent. Each time we go for a training, the first step is performing a needs assessment of the individuals. Results show that employees have communication problems, difficulty giving and receiving feedback, different perceptions of time, etc. Sometimes interaction with global counterparts is limited to virtual communication; other times employees travel, or they are expatriates. Our office prepares a presentation and materials in conjunction with the Office of Protocol in order to help clients find the best solution to their myriad needs. Employees are better able to understand themselves and their coworkers in a cultural context in order to interact more effectively with each other moving forward.
In my opinion, the personalized attention and knowledge of our staff make the International Center Office Of Global Competency Training the standout cultural training outlet in Indianapolis. I am really happy to be here and am excited to continue interacting with clients and learning about different cultures.
This semester, I have been lucky enough to be a part of the planning process of a new Office of Global Competency Training program. The program will take place across a series of days, which gives our office the opportunity to invite more speakers and present more material than ever before. Right now during the planning stages, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that this program will make a really impactful difference for its participants. Stay tuned for more information about the inaugural Leadership Across Cultures Program (LAC)!