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Leiden University Career Zone

Intercultural skills
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Intercultural skills

Nowadays we have regular contact with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Many organizations deal with international customers, products or services on a daily basis. Having intercultural skills means that you can communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations. Click here for more information on intercultural skills and competences.

Intercultural skills:
Communicating effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations.

Intercultural competences consist of several components:

  • Cultural self-knowledge: Having knowledge of your own frame of reference and your own world view, and being able to relate this to other views.
  • Cultural flexibility: if necessary, adapting your behaviour and communication style in intercultural situations.
  • Cultural resilience: dealing constructively with the difficulties and negative feelings that can occur in intercultural encounters.
  • Cultural receptivity: listening to the other person's vision and expertise and also accepting the relativity of one's own vision and ideas.
  • Cultural knowledge: acquiring knowledge of other cultures and using this knowledge in an appropriate way while respecting the uniqueness of each individual.
  • Cultural relational competence: building a working relationship with colleagues, clients and other stakeholders in intercultural situations and contributing to an atmosphere of trust.
  • Cultural communicative competence: exploring the specific characteristics of your own communication style, adapting it if necessary, and exploring the other person's communication style.
  • Cultural conflict management: considering intercultural conflicts as learning opportunities and being aware of your own conflict management style.
  • Multiperspectivity: approaching and understanding a situation, issue or problem from multiple cultural perspectives.