Cross-cultural competence check

Working & leading across borders: bridging cultural differences

When working in an international context or managing international teams, you will inevitably encounter differences. There are numerous theories about how to deal with these. Can you ignore them, secure in the knowledge that in the end your homegrown success strategies work everywhere? Do you need to take certain steps early on to ensure communication runs smoothly? Or perhaps you can just adapt your approach as you go?

Based on our clients’ experiences, we believe being prepared and taking steps to prevent cultural issues before they arise is the best course of action. Take this short 10-minute questionnaire to check and challenge your assumptions about the relevance of cross-cultural competence. Your scores can help you make conscious choices when working and leading across borders.

You will receive an overall score and five sub scores. A full report giving more detail on how to interpret your scores is available if you provide us with your name and email address.


In order to establish a good (business) relationship with someone from another country, I will have to immerse myself in their culture

When doing business with people in neighboring countries (Belgium, Germany), I have little or no cultural differences to deal with

When 'selling' our company and its products abroad, the same arguments are ultimately convincing

Being able to bridge cultural differences will strongly influence our business success in a country

I find it interesting to learn more about people in other countries, their culture and customs

I can easily adapt if it seems necessary when meeting someone from another culture

The world is getting smaller due to, among other things, the internet and cheap flights, so cultural differences are getting smaller and I don't have to delve into it too much



The number of (foreign) countries that I have visited:

The number of (foreign) countries I have visited more than 5 times and/or for longer than 6 months:

The number of continents I have visited (other than Europe):

(Assuming 6 continents: Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa, Oceania)

The number of (foreign) countries in which I do (or have done) business:

This is where I have done (or still am doing) business:

When meeting people from other countries, it is not often that I am caught by surprise, because I already have a lot of experience with all kinds of people from different cultures



I have an idea of what culture is, what visible and invisible aspects of culture are and how I can compare cultures

When I first arrive in a country, there are always some fixed things I pay attention to in order to understand faster how things work in that country

When I talk to someone from another country, I always have a number of questions and talking points to help me understand more quickly how they think about important things

If there were an online database with "scores" by country on certain beliefs and cultural customs I would be happy to poke around in that for a while in preparation for next international steps



I thoroughly immerse myself in a country's culture if I want to do business there

I would quite like to have a theoretical framework to understand different countries and peoples more quickly

I have often spoken with people from other countries and cultures about differences between our cultures, our customs and the way our societies are structured

I can often tell from the body language of someone I meet abroad whether our contact is going well or not

I would do the following things in preparation for doing business in a country new to me


In practice

Case 1: Your business contact in the Turkish capital of Ankara suggests lunch together after the meeting...

You look at your watch. It's indeed time to get something to eat, especially if you want to catch that other appointment this afternoon. You're kind of hungry, too. Are you coming or not?

Case 2: After the first positive but not yet very concrete contact with a potential Chinese supplier...

He asks if you could advise him with finding a study place for his son, who would like to study in the Netherlands. He tells you how smart the boy is and what he wants to study (not a study that you immediately know the answer to).

Case 3: Your hosts in India have arranged an excursion to a somewhat less touristy Hindu temple...

They go along themselves and the conversation turns to religion. They ask you about your religion. When you say you don't practice anything, a silence seems to fall for a moment. Why would that be?

Case 4: On a business trip in France, one of your contacts jokes "Ah, the Dutch, they are very good business people!"...

When you ask what exactly he means by that, he keeps quiet with a commonplace that every nation is different. What do you think he had in mind?

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