Intercultural Communication: Foundation for Cultural Competency

Upcoming dates (1)

For registration assistance: 608-262-2451
Register by mail: printable registration form


This class is two mornings, offered in a participatory live-online format with brief prework.

Do you work with colleagues, customers, or partners who grew up in a different country or within a different culture than you?  Increasingly, the U.S. workplace, no matter where it is located, is multinational and multicultural.  You and your team need to know how to adjust communication styles and management strategies to avoid misunderstanding and conflict.  

Communication across cultures often breaks down due to differences in cultural assumptions and practices that are not immediately visible and are frequently misinterpreted. This practical course will introduce you to proven tools that will enable you to grow your cultural intelligence (CQ). You will learn to identify and understand cultural differences between countries/groups and lay the foundation for strong intercultural communication that has immediate application both domestically and globally. You will also gain clear strategies for adjusting your verbal and nonverbal communication to minimize misunderstanding and build trust with diverse individuals and across groups.

Access to a tool that maps your personal cultural profile is included in the price of the course.

The book The Culture Map by Erin Meyer is recommended — not required, for participants to deepen their learning. It can be purchased at the author's website, Amazon and The Book Depository.


Learning objectives

  • Define and distinguish between terms such as multicultural, cross-cultural and intercultural.
  • Describe the difference between surface cultural practices and deep cultural values that drive most of our emotions and actions.
  • Understand cultural dimensions that underlie the basic differences across national cultures.
  • Assess multiple tools available to measure differences between cultures and assist us in navigating those differences.
  • Become aware of your own level of cultural competency (CQ).
  • Learn to adjust communication styles and management strategies to avoid and overcome cultural misunderstandings.
  • Practice strategies for adapting the use of English with partners and team members who are not native English speakers.

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Overview: Extra Information

SHRM Recertification Provider 2022 seal

Division of Continuing Studies is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 6
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units .6

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

Upcoming dates (1)

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Program Questions?

Contact Miranda Klaas at miranda.klaas@wisc.edu or 608-264-4974

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

Continuing Studies FAQs

Meet your instructor

Julie M. Dahl

(PhD, UW-Madison) directs the Continuing Studies Language program and has been teaching language to adults for more than 30 years. She is the author of the Logros curriculum used in our Spanish program and also teaches intercultural skills. She has lived abroad on multiple occasions and genuinely loves the work of training people to cross barriers by growing their language and intercultural skills.

What Attendees Are Saying

I appreciate the reminders to think first that a conflict could be the result of cultural differences rather than something personal
The tools were very helpful in framing how different cultures understand behavior differently
Fantastic material and very well presented!
Training was put together very well, with a very good mix of lectures, videos, and group activities. Dr. Dahl is very knowledgeable about this topic and I enjoyed her presentation style. It was a very engaging training.
Her personal stories of intercultural interactions really helped me to see how the tools and scales can be utilized to minimize conflicts or to resolve conflicts. Grateful for her knowledge and willingness to share.