What is intercultural competence?
Intercultural competence includes the attitudes, knowledge, and interpersonal skills that allow us to understand, respect, accept, and adapt to both cultural differences and similarities in appropriate, inclusive, and effective ways.
It has also been defined as “the appropriate and effective management of interactions between people who, to some degree or another, represent different or divergent affective, cognitive, and behavioral orientations to the world” (Spitzberg and Chagnon, 2009, p. 7).
Sights on Success Consulting uses a coach-approach to foster leadership development in intercultural competence. This means helping leaders to shift from mono-cultural mindsets to intercultural mindsets of understanding, acceptance, and adaptation to both cultural differences and similarities. Coaching helps leaders to increase both cultural self-awareness and cultural awareness about others across diversity dimensions such as age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion, etc. so that they can become more inclusive and effective.
Some benefits of developing intercultural competence you can expect include:
Optimal Contributions from Diverse Talent
You will develop positive feelings toward diverse talent and encourage positive feelings from diverse talent. This will lead to the ability to elicit optimum contributions from them.
Teams that Innovate from Balancing Shared Experiences with Different Inspirations
You will avoid conformity from overemphasizing cultural similarities and avoid fragmentation from overemphasizing cultural differences. This means you will learn to develop a balanced focus and value both cultural similarities and cultural differences equally. You will be able to develop and maximize contributions from your teams based on both shared experiences (common goals, needs, and interests) and different inspirations (new ideas, practices, and values).
Improved Retention, Morale, and Productivity
You will learn to understand more complex perceptions and experiences of cultural differences and similarities. This means you will be able to eliminate interpretations of behaviour and actions based on bias and stereotypes and increase interpretations of behaviour and actions based on cultural frameworks such as culturally-based communication styles. This will help you to create an inclusive workplace where your employees feel respected and experience a sense of belonging. Your success in this area will help to prevent conflicts, increase morale and productivity, and improve retention.
All these benefits will ultimately help you to maintain a competitive advantage and increase your bottom line.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you realize these benefits and more for your organization.