The value of Intercultural Fluency
Intercultural skills are now some of the most highly valued skills amongst employers globally. In a British Council report employers in nine countries ranked intercultural skills, such as demonstrating respect for others and effectively working in diverse teams, even more highly than technical skills in terms of importance to their business.
Increasing volume of such evidence is becoming available worldwide. Research conducted for the Economist shows that a half of executives believe that misunderstandings rooted in cultural differences present the greatest obstacle to productive cross-border collaboration, and state that ineffective communication or collaboration have obstructed major international transactions, inevitably resulting in financial loss. While a survey for The European Chamber of Commerce in China describes ‘cultural differences in management style’ as one of the top three barriers to doing business with Europe.
Intercultural Fluency courses are designed to support a wide range of individuals and organisations. Discover some of the benefits below.
See our Intercultural Fluency courses.
Making Intercultural Fluency training a key part of their learning and development offer can help businesses to:
- increase the performance and productivity of multicultural teams
- support smoother integration of local and international staff
- build better relationships internally and externally, leading to stronger partnerships, enhanced reputation, improved customer service and increased sales
- strengthen workplace harmony, worker satisfaction and staff retention
- compete better in diverse markets and expand into new territories
- recruit more effectively locally and internationally
- avoid potential cultural misunderstandings that can lead to reputational risks and possible legal challenges.
Government and public sector institutions
Embedding Intercultural Fluency within their professional development plans can help public sector and government organisations to:
- strengthen co-operation nationally and internationally
- build stronger links with other government and public sector organisations locally and globally
- better understand and meet the needs of their diverse audiences and beneficiaries
- increase efficiency and productivity across borders, departments and teams
- increase impact and effectiveness in complex and changing global contexts
- enhance workplace harmony and staff retention
- attract and recruit new talent locally and internationally.
Promoting and embedding Intercultural Fluency within the wider working environment can help educational institutions to:
- develop a culture of positive multicultural engagement amongst staff and the wider community
- support inclusive practice in engaging with increasingly diverse student populations
- promote innovation in an environment of sharing and exchanging ideas and practice across cultural and geographical borders
- gain a more global outlook and strengthen their international strategies and activities
- build effective and sustainable connections with educational institutions locally and abroad.
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
As NGOs become more active across ever-broader cultural and geographical boundaries, providing Intercultural Fluency training to staff at all levels can support them to:
- better understand and respond to the needs of the increasingly diverse communities
- promote global citizenship and a stronger culture of intercultural collaboration within their workforces and with their partners
- increase the performance of multicultural and virtual teams
- build stronger relationships and organisational links, across sectors, locally and globally
- increase impact in today’s complex and changing global contexts
- become more effective in securing funding from broader sources
- strengthen their intercultural outlook and practices, with a tangible focus on equality, diversity and inclusion.
Professionals and working individuals
Choosing Intercultural Fluency as part of their professional development journey can give staff across all sectors and at all levels, from junior assistants to senior managers, the skills to thrive in multicultural environments.
Intercultural Fluency training helps individuals to:
- improve their employability and support their career development
- effectively integrate into new culturally diverse environments
- strengthen the key interpersonal skills required for building rapport and lasting relationships with diverse stakeholders
- anticipate potential challenges when engaging with people from different cultural backgrounds
- effectively communicate and adapt their approach in intercultural and multilingual situations
- successfully manage and collaborate as part of diverse, multicultural teams.
Students and graduates
Today’s globally interconnected world presents a whole host of opportunities for young people to study and work abroad. Intercultural Fluency training can help students and graduates to:
- broaden their horizons, gain new perspectives and open up more opportunities for working in diverse environments
- make the most of their intercultural experiences, such as student exchange programmes, volunteering programmes and others
- equip themselves for the future by boosting their CVs with the skills that employers are looking for
- increase their confidence and develop techniques and insights, as they prepare for today’s global and multicultural world of work.