Welcome to INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION SELF-STUDY COURSE
Good communication is the key to any successful relationship. We communicate with our partner and family daily, whether it is verbally or non-verbally – we are in constant interaction with others. But what if the differences in the way we speak and think make it more difficult to communicate? What if we use words, expressions and sentences differently than our partner? What if their view on things in life are so contrary that it is hard to neutrally talk about these things? Especially in cases when partners have different mother tongues or otherwise cultural differences, there can be an increased amount of misunderstandings and resulting conflicts. Miscommunication easily causes disconnection, frustration, hurt and resentment.
Communication is something that can always be improved and reflected on. When we work on our communication, we can get closer to our spouse, form a deeper connection and prevent smaller issues from becoming bigger ones. In this course you can learn how to communicate more effectively with your partner and improve your communication skills in general. You will learn to reflect on your own and on your partner’s communication style and find exercises to apply the theories in practice.
Make sure you have looked into all means of help and are sure that there is no other solution. Don't rush into it. But when you do start it, don't let anybody else's opinions or pressure make you change your mind. Try to stay as good friends as possible if you have children. Never use the children as weapons against the other, support fully that the children keep all contacts with both families and both cultures.
HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE COURSE
The course consists of reading material, quotes from professionals, educational videos and exercises. We will guide you through 6 subtopics about communication. With the first 3 subtopics you can learn about basic aspects of intercultural communication. The other 3 topics dive deeper and give you additional knowledge and tips about communication.
Summary of the topics:
1. Communication styles
Recognising our own and our partners’ way of communicating
Learn about 4 vital models of listening
3. Interpretation of communication
How to avoid misunderstandings and communicate clearly
4. Non-violent communication
Components and modes of NVC by Marshall Rosenberg
5. Love languages
Introduction to the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman
6. Conflict prevention and resolution
Learn 4 tips about how to successfully deal with conflict
You can do this course individually by yourself, or with your partner. In the ideal case the course is taken together with the partner, so that both can discuss the topics and work on the communication together. If your partner does not want to participate, don’t worry. Even if only you personally improve, your partner might notice a change in the way you communicate and catch up on that. You can be an example and increase the chances of motivating your partner this way.
The good thing about self-study courses is the fact that you can work on the topics according to your own schedule. You can flexibly choose when to work on which topic. We still want to advise you to start with the basic topics 1-3, and then move forward to the more advanced topics 4-6. Nevertheless, feel free to develop your own plan and topic order depending on your personal needs.
Enjoy working on the course and remember: Practice makes perfect. We are all learners!
This course is delveloped with gathering information from different online sources: Familia ry, Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, Mannerheimin lastensuojeluliitto, Ensi- ja turvakotien liitto, Kaapatut lapset ry, Väestöliitto, Helpguide.org, Helsingin kaupunki, apuaeroon.fi, Infofinland, Mental Health America, Mielenterveystalo. Youtube-videos are mostly gathered to have universal examples in English so most of them are not from Finland. Quotes have been gathered from a questionnaire for divorced intercultural families here in Finland in 2021 by Familia ry.
QUICK LINKS TO THE COURSE TOPICS