Name: Dr. Iris Wangermann
Business: Intercultural training & consultancy, a counseling service aimed at spreading awareness of cultural diversity
Location: Cologne, Germany
Reason for starting: I am an intercultural psychologist and have been self-employed as an intercultural trainer for managers in big companies and students in soft-skills classes at universities since 2004. I also work as deputy professor for Intercultural Business communication at the University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg. I am German/Austrian and therefore have a history and inheritance of insane racism. Growing up in Germany, I spent 8 years abroad (1 year in the U.S., 5 years in Austria, 2 years in Italy) working and studying education and psychology. Having had many great experiences but also culture-shocks myself, I decided to write my master’s thesis about intercultural trainings, to put theoretical background and structure behind my personal experiences. Right after finishing my studies I became self-employed as intercultural trainer as I wrote my PhD thesis. My aim is to make people aware of the beauty and necessity of cultural diversity. I help people to gain intercultural competence which allows them to include and use all strengths of mixed-cultural teams, to successfully prepare for a work-stay abroad or to root and include into a foreign culture.
How do you define success? Looking into the happy faces of my training-participants after a colorful training day. The feeling of having created a constructive learning atmosphere where people were able to connect with themselves and others is priceless.
Biggest Success: The respect and positive feedback of a group of very professional trainers and coaches in an international company, after an intercultural awareness training.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? When a challenge arises, I keep breathing.
Who is your most important role model? I met many inspiring people on my way. Most of them simply had the courage to walk their own unique way to serve the world with their special gifts.
Edited by The Story Exchange