intercultural fluency

British Council

Intercultural Fluency courses are practically focused yet based on current academic thinking about cultural theories. They are firmly grounded in the British Council's unrivalled experience of cultural relations and daily intercultural engagement. The courses support participants in honing their interpersonal, communication and critical thinking skills and in becoming more adaptable, open, self-aware and resilient. Each course includes case studies designed to reflect the real-life situations that participants are likely to face and provides practical tools that can be used inside and outside the workplace.


A range of courses are on offer to support individuals and organisations at every step of their Intercultural Fluency journey. 

Beginning your intercultural journey

This course is for young people wishing to make the most of the international and multicultural experiences they embark on, and preparing for today’s global and interconnected world of work. The course asks participants to see themselves as others see them and to practise enhancing their communication skills.


By the end of the course participants should be able to:

•understand what makes the cultures that they are familiar with distinct and compare these with less familiar cultures

•use a selection of tried and tested communication techniques 

•identify their intercultural strengths and areas needing further development.


Participants will be better able to:

•use greater awareness of self and others to make connections in multicultural encounters

•adjust how they communicate to make others feel more comfortable in new cultural situations

•reflect on their own competencies and identify strengths and weaknesses.


Building good foundations and rapport across cultures

This course explores how culture can affect what happens in multicultural situations, and recommends a range of strategies that will help participants build rapport in culturally diverse environments and workplaces.


By the end of the course participants should be able to: 

•understand the complex influences that make up cultural identity 

•use greater awareness of self and others to better understand the different perspectives present in multicultural situations

•identify how their behaviour may help or hinder them in building rapport in multicultural and global contexts 

•use a range of observation and active listening strategies to make effective connections with others in new multicultural situations. 


Participants will be better able to:

•make connections and overcome differences in multicultural and global situations

•respond more flexibly to new and complex cultural contexts

•feel comfortable and at ease in unfamiliar cultural settings

•build a strong foundation for lasting relationships with both internal and external stakeholders

•achieve their goals from an early stage in the relationship

•plan in advance to make a good first impression in different cultural contexts.


Communicating across cultures

This course recommends ways of enhancing participants’ communication skills to make them more effective in multicultural and multilingual situations.


By the end of the course participants should be able to:

•examine how cultural and other influences have shaped their workplace communication preferences and how these may be viewed by others

•respond to others in an empathetic way, helping others feel at ease in complex situations

•demonstrate flexibility in adapting their behaviour and communication style to a range of multicultural and multilingual contexts.


•effectively maintain relationships, leading to improved harmony and better engagement in the workplace

•communicate clearly and concisely, avoiding miscommunication, saving time and enhancing productivity

•communicate persuasively in complex, diverse and changing contexts to achieve business goals.


Working in multicultural teams

This course examines how culture can affect the work of diverse and virtual teams. It asks participants to share their team-working experience and recommends tried and tested strategies for high-performing multicultural teams.


By the end of the course participants should be able to: 

•describe the effect that cultural and other influences can have on the dynamics of multicultural teams 

•adapt to earn trust in multicultural and global teams 

•use a range of strategies to improve the performance of multicultural and virtual teams.


•appreciate diversity in teams and capitalise on it to enhance team harmony and performance

•make a positive contribution to team cohesion, enabling the team to better cope with uncertainty and impromptu situations

•work towards common goals, improving productivity and achieving better results.




Influencing across cultures

This course explores ways of enhancing participants’ ability to influence others in multicultural situations. It recommends tried and tested strategies which have been used effectively in culturally diverse situations.


By the end of the course participants should be able to: 

•describe how cultural and other influences impact the effectiveness of a range of approaches to influencing 

•follow a systematic process to develop effective strategies to better influence people from a range of cultural backgrounds

•adapt the way they communicate their messages to convince different people more effectively. 


Participants will be better able to:

•feel confident in their ability to influence others in new cultural environments 

•build long-term relationships with key stakeholders, earning trust and facilitating the decision-making process

•reach agreement more quickly, ensure goals are achieved and that follow-through is successful. 


Leading across cultures

This course asks participants to examine their own leadership style and consider how effective this is in complex, diverse contexts. It also explores strategies for intervening effectively when challenges arise. 


By the end of the course participants should be able to: 

•examine how cultural and other influences have impacted their leadership style and how others may respond to this

•adapt their leadership style to successfully earn and build trust, motivate team members and create optimum conditions for         team performance in a range of situations

•react flexibly to effectively resolve common challenges in complex, diverse contexts.


 Participants will be better able to:

•understand, engage and retain diverse staff members

•feel confident and resourceful to take action, even when faced with conflicting or uncertain information

•build and maintain a high-performing team by enhancing individual achievement, reaching ambitious goals and driving                 results.


See also