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What is intercultural competence?

The topic of intercultural competence became more and more important during the past years: globalisation and worldwide contacts between companies, organizations and individuals need the ability to communicate in a successful way.

Basic needs are sensitivity and self-consciousness: the understanding of other behaviours and ways of thinking as well as the ability to express one’s own point of view in a transparent way with the aim to be understood and respected by staying flexible where this is possible, and being clear and transparent where this is necessary.

Intercultural competence is the ability of successful communication with people of other cultures. This ability can exist in someone at a young age, or may be developed and improved due to willpower and competence. The bases for a successful intercultural communication are emotional competence, together with intercultural sensitivity.

The goal of assessing intercultural competence is to find out if a person has this ability or the potential for it.

Cultures can be different not only between continents or nations, but also within the same company or even family: every human being has their own history, their own life and therefore also (in a certain extent) their own culture resp. cultural affiliation (geographical, ethnical, moral, ethical, religious, political, historical).