TMCnet Feature
January 29, 2020

Andrew H Campbell of Bellevue, NE Explains the Importance of Intercultural Competence in Today's Business

Globalization and technological innovation have reshaped political, economic, security, legal, and informational relationships among states and technological innovation has increased the ability for businesses to operate across geo-boundaries. Andrew H Campbell of Bellevue, NE argues that we are all now global citizens, and transnational corporations are demanding that mid-level executives have the intercultural competence and cross-cultural management attributes to lead geographically dispersed teams.

In today’s competitive business landscape, those in leadership positions require acumen, personal effectiveness, and relationship management skills to cultivate global alliances and achieve optimal results. As millennials enter the marketplace, transnational businesses will need leaders with intercultural competence and a global mindset to lead change that thrives in a complex and uncertain environment.  Andrew H Campbell Bellevue, NE explains that developing intercultural competence is a critical leadership attribute amongst political and business leaders in today’s environment. 

What is Intercultural Competence?

According to a University of Nebraska-Lincoln paper, cultural competence is “the ability of a person to effectively interact, work, and develop meaningful relationships with people of various cultural backgrounds.” Further, Mendenhall, Osland, Bird, Oddou, Stevens, Maznevsku and Stahl states “intercultural competence involves the ability to establish interpersonal relationships, communicate effectively, manage psychological stress, adjust to different cultures, deal with different society system, and understand others.”  Leaders with intercultural competence understand and analyze challenges from a global perspective, and appreciate diversity of opinions.    

Intercultural competence also encompasses cultural sensitivity – the acknowledgment of cultural variations without exhibiting judgement. Those who are culturally sensitive demonstrate empathy, and value the insights and experiences of diverse groups of individuals. Educating oneself on various customs and behaviors helps to establish a professional connection and mitigate communication errors.

Andrew H Campbell of Bellevue, NE explains that alongside having a comprehensive understanding of various customs, it is also vital to consider factors such as workplace etiquette, body language, and social cues, to ensure a successful engagement with all stakeholders. Culturally aware businesses operate with the understanding that not every stakeholder shares the same values, insights, or experiences.

Developing Intercultural Competence

According to a 2018 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there approximately 28.2 million foreign born workers in the Unites States, comprising of 17.4 percent of the total. With such figures, it is essential to strengthen the development of intercultural skills to parallel an increasingly diverse workforce.

Andrew H Campbell of Bellevue, NE argues that intercultural competence is a valuable business asset; however, many organizations fail to emphasize the importance of this skillset. He states that implementing training programs can help fuel cultural awareness and allow individuals to gain practical skills. Mentoring sessions motivate individuals to engage with different cultures and adapt to a wide range of professional environments.

Global Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is fundamental to professional success and requires individuals to become self-aware to cultivate positive outcomes. Self-management is the ability to recognize and effectively manage emotions in light of various challenges that may arise when working across cultures.

The ability to regulate certain behaviors is crucial to navigating a professional environment, and enables individuals to make decisions that are in the best interest of all stakeholders. Ultimately, global emotional intelligence allows individuals to communicate effectively in a multicultural context.

Intercultural Communication

Communication is a fundamental component to fostering intercultural competence. Taking the time to understanding others and their comparable values, biases and expectations will help one to manage multiple cultural realities. Enhancing communication efforts eliminates barriers and allows individuals to adapt their skillset to meet the ever-evolving needs of the business and those involved.

Developing Intercultural Competence

The final building block in intercultural competence is engagement.  When you engage with culturally diverse individuals at their level, you build lasting social links that form a strong fabric of society. In contrast, tolerance stops at putting up with other cultures. When you only put up with those that are different from you, engagement becomes difficult, and the resulting alienation begins to tear apart relationships and the society at large.

Last Words

In the United States, intercultural diversity has been linked to cross-cultural tensions that span generations. Today, some of the social challenges facing the country are because tolerance, formerly thought to be a valid launch point for intercultural cohesion, is failing. Andrew H Campbell of Bellevue, NE believes intercultural competence is the worthy replacement to tolerance as it helps individuals, communities and societies forge deeper understandings and ties across cultures. It, however, starts with learning and embracing the values of intercultural competence – knowledge, empathy and engagement.

How do you engage when you are interculturally competent? Through mutual learning and understanding. When you explore other cultures by engaging with others, you open a two-way intercultural conversation where mutual learning can occur. As you each learn about the other’s culture and engage on a deeper level, a sense of mutual respect and understanding emerges, helping cement relationships and social links across diverse cultures. However, it is essential to remember that engagement does not mean challenging another person’s culture. It means being opened to respectfully learn about their culture, whether you agree with it or not.

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