Cultural Intelligence - CQ

Developing cultural excellence in a globalized world

The global leader needs a different type of intelligence

Cultural intelligence (CQ), is a platform by which knowledge, motivation, behaviour and of effective intercultural adaptation can be learnt and applied. CQ is often described  as the ability or skill of cultural adaptation. That is to engage in behaviours that use skills  and qualities that are focused appropriately to the culture-based values and attitudes of the people with whom one interacts.

Ensuring we understand the nuances and subtleties of meaning is what drives good relationship and commercial outcomes.  Understanding language is helpful but understanding meaning is paramount, it needs to form part of the good governance of every business, consultancy, joint venture or partnership where more than one culture is present. This is as important as good legal advice, engineering standards and accounting governance and can impact the outcomes of any business, project or relationship just as profoundly.

Culture is inherent but Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is not.
CQ it is learnt and the application of cultural Intelligence in leadership is particularly pertinent for a number of key reasons:
  1.    To define and understand the difference between us particularly, in relation to developing and maintaining relationship that require commercial activity.

  2.    To recognise that ambiguity and uncertainty can be tolerated if there is an understanding that this is a requirement of cultural intelligence.

  3.    That those of Anglo/Celts or European heritage, prefer wide personal space and consider it a sign of respect. This is not the case in many cultures including in business, a lack of spatial awareness or spatial intelligence is not perceived as a sign of disrespect.

  4.    Success in working with multiple cultures requires a high level of self-awareness of your own culture and cultural biases. This includes knowing your ‘World - View’ and your own biases or pre- suppositions and ensuring you are not ‘projecting them’ on to your multi-cultural colleagues.

  5.    Taking responsibility for our own responses and how they are received by others and ensures we able to articulate our understanding of CQ - Cultural Intelligence. 

  6.    And implementing all of the above is how we build CQ as a professional capability.