Cross-Culture Training for Virtual Teams – 2 Day Training

Posted On: September 15, 2015

Cross-Cultural Training for Virtual Teams 

Do you or employees in your company work with Americans from offshore? Do you work on a dispersed, global, virtual team?

Get into the mind of your US Clients and Colleagues:

  • Reduce confusion
  • Increase effective collaboration and project management
  • Learn practical tips you can apply today to make working relationships easier and more satisfying

.. by attending an interactive U.S.A. culture training.

Building cultural context on virtual teams

This training will help you to understand the American mindset in professional and business environments.

It will help you to learn about how to provide the best customer service and professional response in ordinary and also in emotional, tense, negotiation situations.

Whether you interact face-to-face with Americans, only through e-mail or IM, or sit behind the scenes and only gather requirements from an intermediary, this training will help you learn the motivations behind American behaviors and how to respond in different situations.

While this training has been given in many variations from a several hour webinar brief to a three day face-to-face interactive session, the most popular version is a two day session. A sample syllabus for the training follows:


Cross-Culture Training for Virtual Teams

Day 1: Small Talk, Diversity, & E-mail Writing Skills

Small Talk Cross Culture Training

Small Talk Session

Delivering this training to international professionals in the USA.

  • Explore over 40 topics, comparing acceptable, avoidable, and cautionary subjects between US and India (or your home culture). 
  • Create questions for common acceptable and avoidable topics. 
  • Practice handling ordinary and difficult small talk conversations such as avoidable topics, including strangers, and unknown topics. 
  • Handling small talk in ordinary meetings (opening and closing meetings), conferences, lunch or dinner outings, emails and IM. 


Diversity in the U.S. & in the American Office

  • Geography primer (states, capitals, state abbreviations)
  • Language- either US vs Indian English or idioms 
  • Diversity based on corporation or area of the US
  • Interacting with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) that live in the US (or nationals from other countries)  
  • Topics to avoid with Americans that can cause legal issues. 
  • Learning about and celebrating US Holidays. 
USA Cross Culture Training: American Holidays

US Holidays

  • Overview of major US holidays and observance 
  • Activity on holidays- either a small talk exercise or an arts and craft activity


Office Communication Protocols

  • Email structure 
  • Do’s and don’ts in email: language, formatting, tone, audience, and more.  
  • Using pleasantries like please, thank you, excuse me, questions as a form of polite request. 
  • Practice email writing to different audiences 
  • Primer on communicating via IM 


See video and read transcript here.


Cross-Culture Training for Virtual Teams
Day 2: Business Ethics, American Business Values, & Role Play


Business Values and Ethics:

  • What is business ethics?
  • American Workplace Values & Professional Expectations
  • Focus on 5 critical US cultural work values. In this discussion we learn and do role plays on the following:
  • Personal Space
  • How to give early warnings
  • Time management- American approach to time – What does it mean to be late/early?
  • Review of meeting management and etiquette
  • Creating and using meeting agendas
  • How to agree, disagree, and partially disagree
  • How to ask questions
  • Using pleasantries in American and Western native speaker’s use of English at work
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Team Work – interactive agile/scrum game on process, estimation, bottlenecks, team work and quality 

Cross-Culture Training for Virtual Teams

Cross-Culture Training for Virtual Teams

Virtual Presentation Skills – Phone & Conference Call

  • Answering and ending a call in a professional way
  • Posture
  • Listening
  • Speaking clearly – Accent and Type of Words
  • Presentation skills
  • Face to face presentation skills for boardroom meetings and video calls

Conference Call Role Play

Using all the communication strategies learned, participants are broken up into groups to reenact a conference call between US clients and Indian offshore team members. A scenario is given with various communication challenges like how to say no, partially disagree, etc. Participants are to create a dialogue in the structure of a meeting agenda.

The role play is delivered over phones or Skype. The facilitator sits in another room to hear how the meeting progresses without the agenda. If the facilitator can follow the flow of the meeting without an agenda, they are on the right track. We look at all elements of the meeting from starting a conversation in a call, to small talk, transitioning from small talk to business talk, time keeping while delivering agenda points, questions and feedback during a meeting, summary and follow up, and meeting closing.

Depending on how the meeting flows, the participants may reenact particular parts of the meeting to improve themselves. As required accent tips are given if clarity of communication based on voice is a problem.

In addition to the training:

  • Participants can avail exclusive access to an online classroom to view materials for up to three months after the session. 
  • The Small Talk Newsletter. This newsletter subscription, a popular addition to the training, is an email bulletin that is emailed before major US holidays. Newsletters provide information on the holiday, how it’s celebrated, and topics of discussion for the holiday that can be used in meetings and emails.

This training is delivered by Jennifer Kumar, an American citizen living in India since 2011. Jennifer comes to you with over a decade of experience working in the US, studying and working in the US and in India. Jennifer’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Communication from SUNY Buffalo, USA and a Master’s in Social Work from Madras Christian College, Chennai, India. Jennifer is the Managing Director of Authentic Journeys based in Kochi, India. Training is available throughout South India and in the US (New York, Pennsylvania and the Northeastern states). Training is also available virtually over the internet.

Contact us for more information about this Cross-Culture Training for Virtual Teams.

For feedback from previous participants, click here.


Feature photo: upklyak at freepik. All other photos were taken by the author, Jennifer Kumar in live or online training programs conducted by Authentic Journeys. See our entire program catalog with syllabi here.


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