• +44 0330 027 0207
  • +1 (818) 532-6908

10 Definitions of Intercultural Competence


‘Intercultural Competence’ is a term often used within the diversity, inclusion and cultural training fields.

What does it actually mean? Is there is an agreed definition?

Well, no there isn’t.

There is a broad consensus as to what ‘intercultural competence’ looks like, but when it comes to definitions there is no single definition everyone can agree on.

So, we thought it would be a fun exercise to see what definitions are out there and put them all into one place for you!

Which Best Defines ‘Intercultural Competence’?


1. “Intercultural competencies the ability to develop targeted knowledge, skills and attitudes that lead to visible behaviour and communication that are both effective and appropriate in intercultural interactions.”

Deardorff, D. K. (2006)


2. “Intercultural competence is a range of cognitive, affective, and behavioural skills that lead to effective and appropriate communication with people of other cultures.”


3. “lntercultural competence is the ability to function effectively across cultures, to think and act appropriately, and to communicate and work with people from different cultural backgrounds – at home or abroad.”

Monash Uni.

4. “The ability to relate and communicate effectively when individuals involved in the interaction do not share the same culture, ethnicity, language, or other common experiences.”

Association of American Colleges

5. “The ability to maintain the effectiveness and pertinence of one’s communication even with the people of varying cultures is known as his intercultural competence skill.”



6. “The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with people of other cultures.”

Macmillian Dictionary

7. “Intercultural competence is the ability to communicate effectively in cross-cultural situations and to relate appropriately in a variety of cultural contexts.”

Bennett and Bennett 2004


8.“Intercultural competence is the ability of an individual to communicate appropriately and effectively with people coming from different cultural backgrounds.”


9. “Intercultural competence is a measure of one's effectiveness in such interactions with other people.”



10. “Intercultural competence includes recognition and appreciation of one’s own and others’ multiplicities and how they come into play in different situations.”

Intercultural Learning

video trainingIf you need to be able to work competently across cultures, then why not enrol in our Cultural Competence eLearning programme?


Developed by intercultural training experts, our Cultural Competence eLearning programme is jam-packed with essential guidance and direction to help you perform successfully, regardless of where you are working in the world.



 Photo by Pixabay on Pexels


What is the Negotiation Style in India?
Mianzi – The Concept of Face in Chinese Culture

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.commisceo-global.com/