What is Cultural Intelligence?

The ability to function effectively across national, ethnic, and organizational cultures

(Ang, 2009)

Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

is an introspective and intentional leadership journey that requires conscious awareness and continual effort.

What is Culture?

Actions, values, attitudes, beliefs, and customs attributed to a specific group of people.

What is Cultural Competence?

An umbrella term used to describe the ability of individuals to effectively understand, interact, and appreciate other cultures.

What is Diversity?

Diversity includes race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical and neuro abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the human experience.

CQ Dimensions

CQ Knowledge

Information, background knowledge, and experience about specific cultures.

CQ Knowledge:

  • Grows with experience and change.
  • Requires a strong understanding of your own culture.
  • Means tuning into your bias, values, and beliefs.
  • Utilizes cultural systems and frameworks as reference points.
  • Is acquired through assimilation, immersion, research, and education.

CQ Action

The ability to behave in a culturally appropriate manner.

Requires leaders to:

  • Demonstrate flexibility, open-mindedness, adaptability, appreciation, and risk-taking.
  • Exemplify and model appropriate actions in all verbal and non-verbal interactions, both formally and informally.

CQ Drive

The motivation to adapt in a cross-cultural setting.

Leaders want:

  • Authentic and emotional connections with others.
  • Strong and meaningful relationships with others based on trust, authenticity, and respect.
  • To understand and consciously avoid making cultural mistakes.
  • To explore and learn about the cultures of the world.

CQ Strategy

The ability to observe, analyze and apply the right strategy to a culturally specific situation.

Leaders must:

  • Understand norms, nuances, and subtleties of situations and formulate a culturally appropriate response.
  • Listen, observe, question, analyze, and apply the appropriate strategy for the situation and context.
  • Tune into their emotions and those of others to gather background information appropriate to the situation.
  • Culturally code switch and use their knowledge and experiences to mitigate conflict and misunderstandings to change behavior.

CQ Assessment

A quick, and unofficial assessment to check your CQ.
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Want to know more about cultural intelligence and leadership?

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