Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Cultural Interpersonal Effectiveness

The aim of Cultural Interpersonal Effectiveness is to leverage differences for positive business outcomes by understanding that behaviours, values and performance factors vary across cultures.

Cultural Interpersonal Effectiveness

Cultural Interpersonal Effectiveness is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry!

This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Cultural Interpersonal Effectiveness –published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read the eBook for free.

What & Why

Cultural Interpersonal Effectiveness means demonstrating an awareness of, and suitable response to, a variety of interpersonal, behavioural and cultural styles. Taking decisions and pursuing courses of action to leverage cross-cultural experiences and values within the organisation. Promoting an inclusive approach to leadership, work practices and team collaboration.

Kofi Annan, former General Secretary of the UN was quoted as saying: “We can love what we are, without hating what and who we are not. We can thrive in our own tradition, even as we learn from others, and come to respect their teachings”.

This competency is about is about being effective when interacting with people from different backgrounds; and learning from those experiences. This is also about being effective where there are different age and gender mixes in the teams you lead and interact with. The aim is for you to leverage those differences for positive business outcomes.


Here are some practical key steps, techniques and principles you can follow for Cultural Interpersonal Effectiveness.

  • Start with an Open Mind. Focus on yourself. Take stock of your assumptions, biases and prejudices. There are a number of dimensions where you will need to take account of people’s differences. Focus on getting yourself in the right state of mind.
  • Understand and Acknowledge Diversity. Focus on understanding. Take a moment to consider what you already know about the cultural ‘hot spots’ you have experienced or observed. The next step on your cultural interpersonal effectiveness journey is to understand and acknowledge these differences.
  • Cultivate Mutual Acceptance. Focus on communication. Realise that an understanding and acceptance of cultural diversity is the key to effective cross-cultural communications. How will you inspire others and support them in applying best practices? What will you do to challenge misconceptions and help people ‘turn around’ any poor practices?
  • Leverage the Differences. Focus on business outcomes and creating positive business results. Maximise the strengths and experience of the diverse team or teams you have available to you. Ensure any risks or hot spots do not get in the way of business success.

Further Reading

The LARA Leadership Learning series consists of 10 short modules published as Kindle eBooks and Paperbacks on Amazon. They are organised against the Leader of Others leadership competencies. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read these eBook for free.

Quotes about: Diversity and Inclusion for a Better Workplace

Forbes: Diverse Companies Produce 19% More Revenue

Author: Trevor Sherman

Trevor Sherman: Author, Blogger and Coach. What do I do? I develop leadership training material and personal learning modules. I am the owner and operator of this Blog. I coach senior executives for their development and role transition. I am based in Northamptonshire UK and operate globally - in person and through technology.

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