Intercultural communication resources for beginners
If you are wondering what intercultural communication is and suspect that you might face cross-cultural issues in your personal and work life, then you should start by learning the basics.

As an intercultural communicator with 10+ years of experience, I’m happy to share some of my favorite sources. These include books, online platforms, and educational courses designed to spark your curiosity and dive into the topic.
1.The best-selling Handbook on intercultural communication: ‘The Culture Map’ by Erin Meyer
Meyer provides a field-tested model for understanding how cultural differences impact international business. The book offers a solid analytical framework for those who begin to learn the basics of intercultural communication. However, even gems have their imperfections. The author speaks about cultures as national constructs, and I personally see this as oversimplification. The book also lacks practical advice on dealing with particular cases. Yet, it perfectly shapes the idea of cultural differences. Probably the best starting point for your journey!

2. Erin Meyer’s four online tools available for purchase
These include:
  • The Country Mapping Tool;
  • The Personal Profile Tool;
  • The Team mapping Tool;
  • The Corporate Culture Mapping Tool.

They break down many aspects of world cultures into the eight Culture Map dimensions. I use them a lot in my work. The price is fair and reasonable, and the range of cultures available for analysis is wide. You can access them whenever it’s needed.

3. The Culture Compass, a Country Comparison Tool – a free tool by the Founding Father of cultural differences studies, Professor Geert Hofstede

This source has free statistical data on different countries, interpreted with the help of Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory. This tool provides an alternative view on aspects that differ greatly between cultures. In my opinion, Meyer's book is more applicable for building relationships with people, while Hofstede's Compass is suitable for understanding the marketing realities in different cultures. On his website you’ll also find announcements of online and offline courses and master classes.

4. The Cultural Atlas is another significant project which impresses me a lot
An Australian source of basic cultural overviews by country. This one might seem a bit superficial, but I still recommend it. Use it to obtain information about the key values and cultural concepts of a particular country.

Frank L. Acuff is a high-skilled and well experienced negotiator. He gives practical advice on how to conduct international negotiations effectively. The book contains lots of cultural nuances broken down in layman’s terms. On the back pages there is a collection of socio-economic indicators by country. The book was published 10 years ago, so some data is already outdated. Nevertheless, it’ll give you clarity and confidence if you are planning international negotiations or entering a new market.

6. Ministering Cross-Culturally: A Model for Effective Personal Relationshipsby Sherwood G. Lingenfelter, and Marvin K. Mayers
This book provides an inspiring practice-oriented perspective and describes real cases of communication with people from different countries. It sparks both personal cultural evaluation and curiosity towards various social groups. An interactive questionnaire helping to spot our own cultural values is available online through Baker Academic Textbook eSource.

7. Online and Offline Courses by Cultural Intelligence Center
Cultural Intelligence Center is an innovative, research-based training and consulting firm from Michigan. They promote an accurate picture of intercultural communication through their brief online and offline courses. I like how they focus on individuals, businesses, and government separately. You can take an assessment to measure your cultural intelligence (CQ) level, choose a convenient course and then get professional credentials.

I personally have never attended their events, but I’ve heard many positive reviews. While I wouldn’t vouch, check it out for yourself.
Some of these sources are more practical, while others focus on theory. But they are all extremely useful for boosting your communication skills, as well as shaping your understanding of other cultures and countries. If you are just starting your global journey, don’t hesitate to check them out!