In April 2018, SIDRA conducted a two and a half day training of staff managers from across the region for Siemens Singapore, the regional headquarters for the German multinational corporation Siemens. The training, titled “Managing Difficult Conversations and Conflict in the Workplace,” provided participants with practical skills for managing conflict that frequently occurs within their teams, particularly in the dynamic and fast-paced multi-cultural, multinational corporate office typical of a Siemens Singapore department.
Led by Professor Nadja Alexander and Associate Professor Lum Kit Wye of the Singapore Polytechnic Institute, the participants spent their time learning about their own conflict responses, how to manage tension during conversations, and some tips for giving and receiving feedback. Coming from diverse cultural backgrounds themselves, the participants in the course were eager to engage with one another and share their different experiences with conflict in the Siemens workplace and within their field. The participants also engaged in some roleplay scenarios, learned about the latest theories of culturally fluent communications, and discussed the role of culture in conflict and how different cultures experience conflict, and worked on skills for preparing for difficult situations. The training was an excellent experience for both participants and trainers alike.