Cultural competence is essentially having the knowledge, experience, awareness and skills
to work with people from different cultures.
It is the ability to communicate and adapt your behaviours according to who and what you
are dealing with. and Cultural Competency can be described as training and learning that
aims to develop someone’s competence in communicating and working with people from
different countries and cultures.
Within a Cultural Competency training course, you would typically find topics around self-
awareness, stereotyping, bias, communication styles and how cultural preferences play out
in the workplace.
For example, business professionals may focus on areas like meetings, negotiation and
teamwork while a social worker may look at building trust, body language and managing
Within the business world, Cultural Competency training has become increasingly important
as organizations have become more global in their make-up and reach.
With teams spread across time zones, operations in different countries and clients being
served across the world, businesses today need culturally agile employees who understand
cultural differences around areas such as teamwork and leadership, sales and marketing,
communication and conflict as well as specific skills such as persuasion, negotiation and
Within education, Cultural Competency training is important because it improves the
understanding of students’ needs.
By appreciating more about students’ cultures and their approaches to things like learning
and education, teachers and the like can tailor their approaches much better.
Such training can also help in addressing any biases that educators may carry around
students of certain nationalities/cultures, as well as develop better decision-making skills.