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Tools Training in Intercultural Competence

Training in Intercultural Competence

Facilitated Method

Training in intercultural competence can include earning about common dimensions of cultural differences in endeavors involving participants with different cultural backgrounds. It can help the practitioner reduce the risk of misunderstandings, frictions and outright conflict.

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When working with people with different cultural backgrounds, such as international collaboration on the SDGs, cultural differences may constitute a considerable conflict potential. The most well-known and relevant dimensions for cultural differences are power distance, individualism/collectivism, femininity/masculinity and uncertainty avoidance, which can influence communication and collaboration practices, relationship building, leadership and followership and attitudes toward gender roles.

Training in intercultural competence can include learning about common dimensions for cultural differences through lectures and reading, reflecting on others’ or own experiences with intercultural conflict, and conducting group simulations and communication exercises.

A more open-ended approach to training in intercultural awareness can help reduce the risk of stereotyping, while offering clear examples of how cultural differences potentially can be problematic, and providing guidance on insights and skills that increase the capacity for creative collaboration across cultural differences.

How it can help

Training in intercultural awareness can reduce the risk of misunderstandings, frictions and outright conflict in endeavors involving participants with different cultural backgrounds, as well as facilitate personal and collective development through a broader repertoire of values and behavior.

Learn more

Read the IDG Phase 2 Research Report and get more in-depth information.

How to practice

When starting with training in intercultural competence for the first time, try the following:

  1. Seek out books and articles written for the general public with the purpose of strengthening skills in intercultural collaboration.
  2. Identified facilitated training on an individual or group level that can include readings, lectures, reflections, and group simulation and communication exercises.

Most relevant skills

Inclusive Mindset and Intercultural Competence
Co-creation Skills
Mobilisation Skills
Empathy and Compassion

Research and resources

  • Chhokar, J. S., Brodbeck, F. C., & House, R. J. (2007). Culture and leadership across the world: The GLOBE book of in-depth studies of 25 societies. London: Erlbaum.
  • Erin, M. (2014). The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business, PublicAffairs.
  • Hofstede, G., G. J. Hofstede & M. Minkov (2010). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival, McGraw- Hill Professional.
  • Ting-Toomey, S., & Oetzel, J. G. (2001). Managing intercultural conflict effectively. Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Trompenaars, F., & Hampden-Turner, C. (2020). Riding the waves of culture: Understanding diversity in global business. Hachette UK.

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