IndiaThink Assessment Tools: Intercultural Readiness Check

India’s Business Culture requires cross cultural awareness of the different ways Americans and Indians do business.  IndiaThink uses the Intercultural Readiness Check to provide a baseline and a path of growth to our clients who need to grow their skills.  This page outlines what the IRC measures and what these facets are important.By using an assessment like IRC, IndiaThink guides individuals and organizations to grow cross-cultural skills.

Rationale Behind the Competencies of the IRC

The Intercultural Readiness Check Competencies focus on the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with people from other cultural backgrounds.  Knowledge about other cultures is necessary but not sufficient for being interculturally competent.  Instead, people need to be able to constructively use their knowledge of their own and other cultures, to understand and deal with their own and other people’s responses to such differences, and to understand the social dynamics of interactions between groups.

Through effective relationships and culturally different others individuals gain in-depth understanding of the specific cultural (and organizational) context within which they operate, develop constructive attitudes and establish effective interactions between groups for enhanced understanding, strong relationships and sharing knowledge.  The IRC Competences focus on a person’s ability to build such relationships.

The Four Competences in Brief

The IRC measures four separate competencies.  In addition, it measures the difference between taking action on cultural differences and merely reflecting on them.  This is critical information for an organization to understand if their employees will act on their knowledge.

Intercultural Sensitivity

The degree to which a persona takes an active interest in others – their cultural background, needs and perspectives and how they express themselves.  Scores capture to what extent people reflect about their own culture, how it may have included their values, norms and perspectives, and are willing to consider different cultural perspectives as equally valid.  They also indicate how actively people seek information about others’ thoughts and feelings, i.e., by paying attention to verbal and nonverbal signals when interacting with them.

Intercultural Communication

The degree to which a person actively monitors own communicative behaviors. Scores indicate to what extent people listen actively out of concern for how others may be affected by what they say, and how they say it.  People with high scores tend to be patient communicators, cautious in how they bring across difficult messages, and willing to take more time before responding if necessary.  This attitude makes it more likely that they will adjust their behavior to the needs of their listeners.

Building Commitment

The degree to which people actively try to influence their social environment, based on a concern for building relationships and integrating different people and concerns.  The scores indicate to what extent a person focuses on the different people with whom he or she is interacting; knows how to engage them and get them committed to a shared goal.  People with high scores invest into developing relationships and building strong and diverse networks.  They constantly seek to understand the needs and interest of different stakeholders, and feel confident that they can create flexible solutions to meet those needs.

Managing Uncertainty

The degree to which a person appreciates the uncertainty and complexity of culturally diverse environments as an opportunity for personal development.  Scores o this dimension indicate the degree to which a person is curious about cultural differences, and feels confident and motivated to deal with unfamiliar groups, and unexpected, changing requirements.  The scores also reflect how much a person is motivated to explore new approaches, and feels stimulated by diversity as a source for learning.

Outcome of an IRC Assessment

Individual participants receive personalized feedback with constructive and practical suggestions on how to develop competencies.  This information can be used by an individual to develop competence-specific action plans.  Cultural competencies are suddenly within reach.

Organizations can use the results of these assessments as a framework for employee growth, employee assessments and as a baseline for curriculum on core cultural competencies.  Organizations can receive group profiles if 20 or more participants are tested.  For larger groups data can be divided by teams.  Group feedback can illustrate areas of focus for an overall training program and can be used to develop benchmarks for the organization.

IndiaThink AIM Framework Integration

IndiaThink uses the IRC as part of its AIM framework to develop cultural blueprints as well as in every other area of its practice.   For the individual, IndiaThink offers a personalized assessment and mentoring programs to get started.  For the organization, it offers personalized training approach for participants who typically only get lectured training offerings.  By adding the assessment to trainings, each participant has an action plan to follow after the training is completed.  IndiaThink is the only American firm who uses this cutting edge assessment tool.  Contact us today to get started at info@indiathink.com