Human Relations, Communication, & Culture
How do communication styles and habits influence groups, such as research teams and organizational cultures? Misunderstandings happen even when all involved have the best of intentions. This session will explore how underlying preferences and biases about authority, information, conflict, and other cultural differences may cause communication challenges in professional and social interactions. Participants will learn how increased awareness of different modes of interaction, expectations, and communication strategies can be adjusted to improve cross-cultural research teams and improve individual adaptation to changing social dynamics.
Dr. Christian Matheis directs the Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives in the Graduate School and serves as a visiting assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. He specializes in scholarship and practice that bridge social and political philosophy, public policy, and direct-action/community organizing. In particular, his work emphasizes how the philosophy of liberation and liberatory movements can play a key role in addressing contemporary ethical and political problems. His teaching and research concentrations include topics such as solidarity, refugees, feminism, race, indigeneity, power and policy, and global justice. In addition to his regular teaching and research, Dr. Matheis provides over 20 years of experience training in areas of human relations facilitation, intergroup dialogue, grassroots direct-action organizing, and on other topics.