3 questions to our advisor and trainer

Daniel Glinz, why does cinfo offer a course on intercultural collaboration, when in fact most of these competencies develop through field experience?

Experience is often the best master, but it is not always good! Experience must also be analysed, lessons must be learnt. Trying to solve a serious crisis (a kidnapping, a protest or another difficult situation in the field) with interlocutors from a different socio-cultural environment can quickly lead to difficulties, because everyone tries to solve the crisis on the basis of their own values and criteria. It is worthwhile preventing this by developing the skills needed to communicate with people from other backgrounds. The problem? Today we exchange messages on Facebook with people from all over the world, which might create the illusion that communication is easy.

Today we exchange messages on Facebook with people from all over the world, which might create the illusion that communication is easy

Some say that they are not interested in this course because they already have a lot of work experience abroad...

If these people have learned something during their time abroad, so much the better. But we should be careful: when we think we know something, then we believe only that. Further, the more conviction there is, the less knowledge there is. We should also remember that expatriates tend to belong to the same group: the one with the money and the control. In this situation it is quite easy to communicate. It becomes much more difficult if you have neither power nor money, nor the status of an expat.

The whole course is online and therefore accessible from anywhere, at anytime. Each module is followed by an individual coaching session with you. What questions do you cover in these sessions?

The coaching sessions serve to address more specific problems or personal difficulties: things you do not want to discuss in front of others. It provides a certain intimacy – a framework in which it is possible to admit to being sometimes overwhelmed by the complexity that surrounds us. But here, too, we are swimming against the tide. Nowadays we always have to give the impression that everything is under control. But above all, learning means admitting that we are ignorant. And that's not good for the ego.

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Get to know Daniel Glinz

After his first 8 years as a newspaper correspondent in East Asia, Daniel joined the ICRC, where he worked for 15+ years as a delegate (Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, India, Colombia and Mexico), team leader, trainer and finally as a manager. Originally trained in sinology (Leiden University), he completed his portfolio with a Federal Certification in Adult Training, a MAS in Trans-cultural Communication and certification as a professional coach. Empowered by his vast and varied professional experience, which he combines with a sharp wit and innovative, out-of-the-box pedagogical methods, he is always keen to inspire and to support you in topics related to communication, leadership, diversity management, risk and security management, as well as life domain balance.

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