ambiguity

intercultural competence

Tolerance for ambiguity is very important for the development of intercultural competence. Meeting and working with people from cultures other than our own can often lead to irritations and uncertainties in behaviour. Social manners learned earlier tend to bump up against their limits; we have to accept different behaviours and unexpected reactions, even if we don’t understand them. A basic cultural understanding of other everyday rituals, forms of interaction, religions and social structures has to be acquired. If we are going to develop sustainable relationships with people from other cultures, then we need a value-free, open and sensitive attitude, one that we could describe as tolerant of ambiguity.  Learning this is a prerequisite for attaining intercultural competence.