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The Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES)

The Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES) was developed specifically to evaluate the competencies critical to interacting effectively with people who are from cultures other than our own. This instrument is used primarily by non-profit organizations, including government agencies and educational institutions. The competencies assessed by the IES are equally applicable to evaluating how well people work effectively with people who are different from them (gender, generation, ethnic group, religious affiliation, and so forth). The IES focuses on three dimensions of intercultural effectiveness. These three dimensions are combined to generate an Overall Intercultural Effectiveness Score, which is reported in a 22 page individual feedback report.  This report includes analyses of the dimension scores, explanations of scoring profiles, and personal development planning for intercultural effectiveness.  The three dimensions of the IES are summarized below:

The first dimension is Continuous Learning. This dimension assesses our interest in learning and general curiosity as well as our interest in better understanding ourselves. To appreciate and understand those who are different from us, we need to be willing and motivated to learn about them and their culture. In addition, to set a good foundation for interacting effectively with them, we also need to understand ourselves well, including our values, beliefs and behavioral tendencies.

The second dimension is Interpersonal Engagement. It  evaluates our interest in understanding various peoples and places in the world and developing actual relationships with people who are different from us. Developing positive relationships with people who are not like us depends in large part on our interest in learning about and from them. The more we learn about the world around us, the various peoples, their backgrounds, the issues they face, and so forth, the more we are able to interact with people who are different from us.

The final dimension is Hardiness. Interacting with people who differ from us culturally, generationally, religiously and so forth entails psychological effort. This effort, in turn, always produces varying levels of stress, uncertainty, anxiety and sometimes fear. To interact effectively with those who are different from us requires an ability to cope with these psychological and emotional stresses. Coping can be accomplished by having a natural resilience to stress and also by better understanding the nature of the differences. Understanding differences increases our confidence, enables us to find more common ground, and decreases the psychological effort involved when interacting with people who differ from us.

The IES is available online and in paper and pencil format, and is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese.

For all queries regarding the IES, please contact our representative at:

phone: +1-503-297-4622
fax: +1-503-297-4695

Access IES Resources:

  • To view not-for-profit organizations that have used the IES, click here
  • To download information about using the IES in educational institutions and in classroom settings, click here
  • To download information about using the IES in businesses/governmental agencies, click here

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