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The Third Culture Kids’ Intercultural Business Toolkit – an Interactive Programme in 4 Modules

As more and more people live and work across national borders, there’s also a sharp increase in the number of ‘Third Culture Kids’ (TCKs). Simply put, TCKs are people who have grown up between cultures and, for example, for large parts of their upbringing have lived outside their parents’ home country and often in several different countries.

Many adult TCKs find work in global companies. They possess a goldmine of potential in the form of cultural knowledge and specific, often unique, skills that are rarely utilized – typically because neither the TCK employees nor the companies are aware that their approach to the world is almost unique.

We’d like to rectify this with our new programme, Third Culture Kids’ Intercultural Business Toolkit, which is run by our TCK specialist Peter Møller Nielsen.

In short, the Third Culture Kids’ Intercultural Business Toolkit is an online programme of 4 modules that we can run for a group of your employees who have a TCK background (max. 12 people)

During the programme, the TCK employees will learn to transform their instinctive intercultural competences into deliberate and focused tools that they can use in their work life, to the benefit of themselves and your organization.

Who are 'Third Culture Kids'?

In the ground-breaking book 'Third Culture Kids – Growing Up Among Worlds' by Ruth E. Van Reken, Michael V. Pollock, and David C. Pollock (3rd edition from 2017), you'll find this definition of TCKs:

"A traditional Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who spends a significant part of his or her first eighteen years of life accompanying parent(s) into a country or countries that are different from at least one parent's passport country(ies) due to a parent's choice of work or advanced training."

The 'typical TCK experience' is described in this way:

"The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background."

Like to know more about Third Culture Kids? Read this article, where our TCK specialist Peter Møller Nielsen introduces the book 'Third Culture Kids – Growing Up Among Worlds' and shares a number of TCK stories that he has come across, personally and professionally.

What are the benefits of the Third Culture Kids’ Intercultural Business Toolkit programme?

Your organization will gain:

  • the benefits of utilizing the great potential in the form of intercultural and personal competences that your TCK employees carry with them – e.g., in the form of cultural empathy, mental flexibility, cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to see multiple perspectives;
  • a group of ‘Cultural ambassadors’ who will help spread a global mindset and strengthen diversity and inclusion throughout your organization; and
  • greater motivation and commitment among your TCK employees.

As a participant with a TCK background you will:

  • increase your conscious intercultural awareness;
  • broaden your understanding of the advantages of being a TCK;
  • develop a conscious personalized toolkit of unique skills;
  • strategize the implementation of the toolkit in business settings; and
  • gain a network of colleagues with a TCK background where you can support each other going forward.

Learning objectives

The mission is to coach TCK employees to identify their cultural skills-set and construct their personal ‘toolkit’ so that, with their new consciousness, they can promote a global mindset to the entire organization.

Each of the modules is designed to achieve a set of specific learning objectives to guide the learners through their own transformation.

Module 1: Intercultural awareness

  • Understand the concept of a TCK
  • Understand the concept of Edward T Hall’s Iceberg Model
  • Apply the concept of the Iceberg Model to reflect on and understand oneself

Module 2: Advantages of being a TCK

  • Recognize and understand the impact of being a TCK
  • Identify and analyze one’s individual skills
  • Identify skills advantages of being a TCK

Module 3: Personalized toolkit

  • Implement intercultural communication dimensions into the understanding and use of individual skills-set
  • Reflect purposefully which individual skills have moved from existing unconscious to conscious skills
  • Develop a conscious personalized intercultural toolkit

Module 4: Implementation of the toolkit in business settings

  • Identify how to bridge intercultural differences hindering effective interpersonal interaction
  • Create strategies for implementing the conscious individual cultural ‘toolkit’ in business settings

Format and process

We can run Third Culture Kids' Intercultural Business Toolkit as an internal learning programme for a group of your employees who have a TCK background.

Price: DKK 40,000 excl. VAT (max. 12 people).

The learning programme consists of:

  • an onboarding session to get the participants introduced and connected,
  • 4 synchronous modules of 2 hours each, including in-between asynchronous interactions,
  • a celebration ceremony session, and
  • a 1-hour follow-up meeting with the participants 4-6 months post-training.

The modules take place once every 2 weeks, with asynchronous activities planned between each module. The total workload amounts to around 30 hours.

To foster community building amongst the participants, a series of Community Building Cafés are offered.

All activities take place online.

Learning model

The learning programme is based on the Transformative Learning Model, which takes the learners on a journey of shifting their perception of self and worldview by introducing new insights and information, e.g., intercultural models and research, and critically reflecting on past experience, ideas and understanding.

This concept fits the goal of the learning, which is to transform unconscious skill-sets into a conscious toolkit.

How to proceed

Contact us to discuss how we can run Third Culture Kids’ Intercultural Business Toolkit as an internal learning programme for a group of TCK employees in your company.

We can also offer Third Culture Kids' Intercultural Business Toolkit as an individual coaching programme, where we recommend 8 coaching sessions spread over 4 months. Contact us to hear more.

More info about C3’s specialist on Third Culture Kids, Peter Møller Nielsen

Peter is a native of Denmark, and also a citizen of Switzerland. He lives with his family in Basel, Switzerland.

Peter is an intercultural trainer, facilitator, and coach. He provides training solutions within cross-cultural management, intercultural communication, working in virtual teams, multinational team foundation building, and international career consulting.

Since 2005, he has conducted 500+ cross-cultural training programmes and has worked with management at all levels as well as individual employees and families facing relocation.

Peter started his career in Denmark, where he, among others, was country manager for an international exchange organization. Since moving to Switzerland, he embarked on a career as a career consultant, providing career-related counselling and settling-in assistance to accompanying spouses of international assignees.

At C3, we benefit from Peters high professionalism combined with empathy and intuition, when he delivers training on global mindset and remote collaboration, and when he prepares future expats for living and working in Switzerland.

In addition, having worked for decades in student exchange and as a father of two TCKs Peter has specialized in coaching for Third Culture Kids, assisting them in transforming their instinctive intercultural tools into conscious and deliberately focused tools for use in their workplace.

Peter speaks Danish, English, and German fluently and has a good understanding of Swiss-German.

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