Jones International University
Dr. Allan Canfield
My Intercultural Communication Competence
In order to be competitive, companies consider it essential to stretch their business across national and cultural boundaries. This trend applies to goods and capital as well as human resources. Companies go through stages of national focus to an international company. The internationalization process implies adaptation processes in human resource management. A key task of the international human resources management is in the choice of staffing strategy in the respective stages of internationalization, in which employees of the company must be staffed in locations abroad. The international integration of the world economy requires for employees advanced qualifications. The need for cross-border deployable staff increases. Intercultural competence has become a buzzword to describe the skills required of an employee working abroad.
The 20th Century is shaped by an increasing internationalization; economically and ecologically, politically and social developments taking place in global implications. Solutions for key problems appear only in the awareness of a sustainable world, so it is controversial that further destruction of our planet can only be stopped by joint efforts of all people. The global networking is reflected in changed perceptions of people: events from far regions are presents daily and directly from the media, exceeded modern communications, transportation networks enable global contacts, through personal and professional mobility state, and cultural boundaries are exceeded.
The confrontation with the unknown has always been an uncomfortable situation for humans that makes us feel uncertain and indisposition because of our lack of understanding. Feeling multiculturalism as an enrichment is not given naturally, but it is an exhausting learning process. Because there is our cultural identity, our values and standards we need to deal with as well as our self and others. The development of intercultural competence leads from the awareness of the problem of the cultural self-reflection to foreign cultural reflection and from there to verify this re-reflection in or on reality.
According to Lustig (2013), in the twenty-first century, such competence is an essential attribute for personal survival, professional success, national harmony, and international peace. Communicating effectively with individuals from different cultures will determine how well people and organizations apply their knowledge, which will lead to greater success.
Importance of intercultural communication competence
The question of how much we know about other cultural patterns is open for me, at least in the society of the immigrants with the variety cultures can contribute to the improvement of communication. Trainings that are specialized in improving intercultural are more in favor of stereotyping. Without a minimum of background knowledge of culture, we will not be able to use culture as a pretext when necessary. In a society were cultural mixture is a characteristic, it is important to acknowledge cultural ability of adapting. In addition, equally important is cooperative cultural and behavioral expectations. It can be helpful to engage in a foreign culture to become more sensible or open toward cultural differences and to become more aware of one’s own culture. Both concepts are important basics of intercultural competence. Next to being sensible towards cultural patterns, it is very important to be sensible towards communication. This simply means to act in a way that protects one’s own reputation. This is not only important in non-western countries, but also in the United States. The aspect of “face work” plays an important role. This is especially important in intercultural dialogs about values and roles in a culture, without cooperative attitudes and