absolutely intercultural 43 +++ Flying a plane is all about communication +++ intercultural card game BARNGA +++ Myers-Briggs-Test

Laurent as the BARNGA facilitator
In this show we will point you to two very different ways of becoming more aware of your personality and what your spontaneous reactions are when getting in touch with people whose cultural rules are different.

“absolutely up in the air”
Our first guest is Simon Brown, a former airline captain with British airways, who tells us how the Myers-Briggs personality test, which was used to make pilots more aware of their different personality styles, opened his eyes.

“absolutely simulated”
BARNGA is a card game, which simulates the experience of meeting people from other cultures and working with them. It was played a group of 25 students from several different countries at the University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz, RheinAhrCampus. During the game the students sit at five different tables which are separated from each other. They play a card game with the rules they received on a written sheet at the beginning. When the actual game starts no more verbal communication is allowed. The students have to find alternative ways of communication if they want to play together, such as gestures, facial expression or drawing pictures…

“absolutely confusing”
We will look at what happens when you go through the intercultural simulation in practice. Some students seem to be pretty sure that they play according to the “only valid” rules, while others seem to be a little confused…

“absolutely eye-opening”
In the last part of our show we will return to the airport in Bangkok to Simon and the Myers-Briggs Personality Test in British Airways. Laurent asks Simon whether the test itself and the feed-back he received from his colleagues in the famous envelope had been useful for him. Had it changed his view about himself?

Our co-host today is Agnes Dús from Budapest in Hungary, student of the Corvinus University of Budapest. You may remember her from the interviews she made in Ireland for show number 25. She will co-host the shows from Remagen until Christmas.

The next show will be coming to you on the 16 November from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

Host of this show: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Co-host: Agnes Dús
Editor: Mathias Knops
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3 Responses to “absolutely intercultural 43 +++ Flying a plane is all about communication +++ intercultural card game BARNGA +++ Myers-Briggs-Test”


  • I just recently came across this Blog and Podcast and it has become one of my favorites. I was especially interested in episode number 35 (http://www.absolutely-intercultural.com/?p=60), where Sebastian Dorok talked about teaching through Podcasts.
    I would like to add to this by mentioning the link to a Podcast called “Deutschland für Anfänger”: http://dfuera.podspot.de.
    This Podcast was produced by my students, in a class for German as a Foreign Language, called Podcast-Werkstatt. They could also choose the topic of their Podcast themselves, and so they decided on the mentioned title and therefore each episode includes a little intercultural topic, explaining things in a very unique way that seemed strange to them in Germany.
    Right now I am teaching the same course again with new students, and it seems like they might want to continue this existing Blog, since there is a huge need to communicate the little intercultural differences they experience in Germany.

  • The interview with the pilot was mildly interesting but I was not convinced that it relates to intercultural issues. My apologies for being a curmudgeon!

    Stay tuned,

    Uncle Drew

  • Hi Uncle Drew
    Your comment made me look more closely into the Myers & Briggs personality testing and I have two points.

    The first is that it is very important to be aware of what your communication style is and how you may need to adjust it in connection with dealings with other cultures. A very authoratarian style would not go down at all well in the Scandinavian culture for example but a lack of it may be seen as weakness in another culture.

    The second point is that the developers of the test have been very careful to check that their system is valid across most cultures and found that it is, and also that the distribution pattern of the personality types is the same across all cultures although the proportions vary. One aspect which does differ is the way in which personalities are expressed in different cultures.
    http://www.myersbriggs.org/more-about-personality-type/international-use/multicultural-use-of-the-mbti.asp
    The example cited in this link is that of Britain and America where introversion is expressed in different ways. This has resulted in a greater proportion British entrepreneurs being introvert than American entrepreneurs. The reason for that is said to be the different ways in which introversion is expressed in thte two cultures. The link does not give any more information but I guess it would be possible to dig it up.

    So thanks for encouraging me to find out more about the link between personality tests and intercultural communication!

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