equipping you to

successfully interact with people from different cultures

at home and abroad

welcome

People with a high level of intercultural competence are bridge-builders across cultural differences and peacemakers in times of conflict. They will have the wisdom and creativity to interact in cross-cultural contexts in ways which clearly demonstrate understanding and respect to everyone involved. Developing a high level of intercultural competence is challenging and may be intimidating for you, but you can do it.

Research indicates the most effective way to develop these skills is through group and individual mentoring with a qualified instructor.

Let me help you explore the best next steps for you or your group in this journey to successful interaction with people from different cultures. It’s as easy as contacting me to make an appointment for a free half hour phone consultation to identify your goals and chart out a course forward!

I’ve worked in Cross-cultural environments for many years and Debbie’s insights had a depth that I’ve rarely experienced. Her recommended actions were practical and achievable. I strongly recommend CultureCrux’s services to anyone who is working across cultures or in multi-cultural environments. Debbie was insightful, probing, forward-looking and supportive. Her support of me as a person in understanding my IDI has positively impacted my movement toward cross-cultural competence.

—Cindy
Shanti Consulting, Cross-Cultural Trainer and Coach

about

Debbie Bayes has spent many years living and working in Muslim, Jewish, and Christian contexts in the Middle East as well as in secular contexts on the university campus in the US.

Her doctoral thesis focused on developing intercultural competence among leaders of a reconciliation organization in Israel-Palestine. Her research received the William A. Fretwell Memorial Thesis Award for exemplifying quality research, practical application and transformational impact on society.

Debbie has provided assessments and resources on the development of intercultural competence for international workers in India, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East as well as for leaders working in cross-cultural contexts in the US.

  • DMin.Bethel University, 2018
  • M.A.Regent College, 2000
  • B.A.Western Washington University, 1994

“You know when you didn’t know you needed something and then find out you really did?! That’s what the IDI (intercultural assessment) has been for me. After taking the assessment and working through the results with Debbie several months ago, I’m seeing so many situations with a new lens! Now that I know a bit more of what I didn’t know I am looking forward to doing more training with Debbie to grow in my cultural awareness.”

—Kendra Shaw
Director of Global Engagement, Alliance Northwest

services

Classes and seminars are customized to specific groups.

Contact me for a free half hour phone consultation to identify your goals and chart a course forward!

  • First Steps: Assessing the Situation
  • First Steps: Assessing the Situation

    Before creating a plan to develop greater intercultural competence for your group or yourself, it is important to have an accurate understanding of where you are now. One very effective way of determining that is through taking the Intercultural Development Inventory.

    The IDI is an online assessment which takes 20 minutes to complete and can provide both group and individual reports regarding current intercultural abilities as well as personalized development plans for the next steps in your growth.

    Set up an IDI assessment for yourself or your group today and begin the first steps of your journey to greater intercultural competence.

  • Navigating Cultural Differences Seminar
  • Navigating Cultural Differences Seminar

    •  Are you a church member or group thinking about going to Puerto Rico to build houses?
    • Are you a Rotary Club member or group planning to build wells in Kenya?
    • Are you a government official seeking to improve the lives of those living in poverty in your district?

    Your intercultural knowledge and abilities, or lack of, will determine to a large extent whether your efforts will lead to real benefits and lasting change or cause substantial damage in the communities where you are interacting.

    This three-hour seminar will introduce you to important concepts in cross-cultural understanding and communication which will equip you with the ability to ask the right kind of questions and make competent decisions in cross-cultural contexts.*

    *First Steps: Assessing the Situation required before taking Navigating Cultural Differences Seminar

  • Foundations Class
  • Developing the ability to understand and interact positively with different cultures takes time and effort, but you can do it. Research demonstrates that group and individual mentoring with a qualified instructor is the most effective means of developing intercultural competence.

    The Foundations Class

    is for those who are determined to develop intercultural abilities. This 15-hour course will provide you with a road map to understand where you are in your ability to interact with different cultures and clear steps on how to develop. It will introduce you to practical tools for communicating and resolving conflict across cultural boundaries and provide opportunities to practice your skills.

    This class is suitable for people working in business, education, government, community development, religious organizations, or anyone who is committed to increasing his or her ability to successfully interact with people from different cultures.*

    *First Steps: Assessing the Situation required before Foundations Class

  • Ecotonos
  • Ecotonos

    is a fun and interactive opportunity for introducing you and your group to the skills necessary to successfully interact with people from different cultures. Ecotonos is a cultural simulation which helps you learn how to collaborate across cultures.

    During the simulation, two or three different groups receive culture cards which gives them some basic guidelines for developing their individual cultures. As the simulation continues the groups are mixed and the different cultures must work together to achieve a specific goal.

    Ecotonos creates an opportunity for learning, laughter, and great discussions about how to apply the lessons learned during the simulation in real life. Ecotonos takes about two hours. It requires a minimum of ten participants but can include up to 100.

    Suitable for anyone 16 or older.

  • Individual Coaching
  • Individual coaching

    is an effective way to increase intercultural competence.

    Some of the benefits of individual coaching include the opportunity to:
    • Continue to build on what you learned in the Foundations Class
    • Establish and take action toward achieving your personal intercultural development goals
    • Contribute more effectively to your team or organization
    • Deepen cross-cultural understanding and communication
    • Prepare for short- or long-term overseas assignment
    • Develop ability for more effective cross-cultural interaction in your own community
    • Receive support in improving specific skills
    • All leading to greater effectiveness and increased success in cross-cultural interactions.

    “I oversaw Debbie’s doctoral research in which she used the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to help a reconciliation organization with a multi-cultural staff in Israel-Palestine develop their abilities to work more effectively with people from different cultures. Debbie demonstrated her skill in using the IDI to help individuals and the organization grow in their intercultural effectiveness. I was quite impressed with her work. I have been doing IDI-guided training and mentoring for the past 13 years and would take Debbie on my team in an instant.”

    —Douglas Magnuson, PhD
    Anthropologist, Intercultural Trainer, IDI Administrator, and Director of the CCCU Middle East Studies Program

    FAQ

    “One of the most effective ways to learn about yourself is by taking seriously the cultures of others. It forces you to pay attention to those details of life which differentiate them from you.”
    Edward T. Hall American anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher

    Intercultural Competence is the ability to communicate and behave in appropriate ways with those who are culturally different. Ethnocentrism, on the other hand, is the tendency to evaluate other cultures according to the values and standards of one’s own culture with an attitude of superiority. Ethnocentrism makes it impossible for us to understand different perspectives or to work well with people from different cultures. Ethnocentrism is our default position. It is what comes naturally to us. Working to develop Intercultural Competence is an effort to go against this natural tendency, which is why it is challenging.

    Less than 15% of people have reasonably good skills in cross-cultural interactions and less than 2% are truly interculturally competent. It is an area where people commonly overestimate their abilities which often leads to misunderstandings or even worse. Developing intercultural competence requires a major effort. Even if you have skills in this area, it is important to take conscious, purposeful steps to continue to grow. The good news is you can increase your intercultural competence if you are willing to make the effort.

    The reality is people can travel the world and even speak many different languages and yet still have limited abilities to bridge cultural differences or truly understand different perspectives. Intercultural competence is not something that people develop without purposeful effort. In most cases, special training is necessary and quite beneficial.

    What we consider friendly, polite, or appropriate is culturally conditioned. Friendly, polite, or appropriate behavior in our own culture may come across as overbearing, rude, or shameful to people from different cultures. The belief that being friendly or just good with people is enough to bridge differences and communicate well when interacting with people from different cultures is an ethnocentric assumption which indicates the belief that our way of seeing the world and interacting is central to all.

    Developing intercultural competence is much more complicated than simply gaining some new information. It is intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally challenging to deeply interact with different cultures and worldviews. Research has shown that the most effective means of developing intercultural competence is through group and individual training with the support of a qualified instructor.

    Often businesses, universities, churches, or other organizations decide to hire one person to specialize in dealing with cultural issues. While hiring an expert can be beneficial, if the group or organizational leadership as a whole does not develop intercultural competence it will be difficult to find agreement on appropriate changes or steps. It is likely that conflict in this area will grow unless the group develops together and can approach cultural differences with a common understanding.

    It’s easy to assume intercultural competence is only important for people who live abroad or travel frequently. The reality is there are cultural differences all around us, even in our own communities. Cultural differences can be found not just in people from different countries but also in people from different regions of the same country or even in people from different social and economic backgrounds. Developing intercultural competence is an essential skill in today’s world and can be enormously beneficial in both work and social settings even if you don’t travel outside your own borders.

    Anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort can improve his or her intercultural abilities. The most important factors in development are the humility to recognize the need to grow and the determination to take steps to do it. The help of a qualified instructor to provide support and guidance will also speed and enhance the process.

    When one considers the cost of cross-cultural misunderstandings, whether in business, community, or personal contexts, it becomes apparent that training in developing intercultural competence is well worth the investment of both time and resources. The rewards of growing in this area are immense, both professionally and personally.  The initial assessment and one hour of individual guidance to help you understand your results as well as your personalized development plan is $125. That alone can provide you with valuable insights into where you are and how to move forward. One way to keep costs down is to learn as a group. Being part of a class of 10-15 participants is always less expensive than individual coaching and learning as a group is more fun. Talk to your colleagues or friends and make a plan to develop your level of intercultural competence together!

    “The cross-cultural assessment and development plan that Dr. Bayes has guided our members through has been invaluable. Our people’s intercultural competence has improved as they work the development plan. On a personal note, I’ve also been helped in leading our cross-cultural workers by Dr. Bayes’ guidance for my own personal intercultural skills and understanding.”

    —Bill Dunham
    Director, Global Professionals

    get in touch

    “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides or my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.
    But, I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”

    Mahatma Gandhi

    (425) 239-8685

    debbie@culturecrux.org

    Debbie has taught me many things through her amazing creative ability. She has a gift for making people feel comfortable. I love how she always brings out the best in people!

    —Roze
    Muslim Palestinian, Architect, Halil, West Bank

    CultureCrux gave me some insightful ways for me to grow in my intercultural competence. It has given me a fresh perspective toward my relationships at work and in ministry.

    —Gene Casel
    Operations Specialist Legal Plus Software Group Inc