On Cultural Intelligence
Cultural intelligence – the capability to work and relate effectively in culturally diverse situations.
The number one characteristic of someone with high cultural intelligence is curiosity.
Exercise perspective taking.
To what degree can I explain this situation from their point of view?
Understanding how cultures are similar and different.
Some cultures are more direct whereas others are more indirect.
There are also differences in personality, ethnicity, socioeconomics, and background to understand.
Case study: Different regions of the world determine different reasons for why the prodigal son ended up in the pig pen.
- Americans thought it was because he squandered the money.
- Russians thought it was because of famine.
- Africans thought it was because no one gave him food.
All three reasons are actually in the text, but culturally we focus on one over the others.
Channeling curiosity and understanding into an actual strategy to move forward.
Being very curious and having some understanding but no strategy looks like this:
Diversity training is not often helpful when no strategizing is involved.
Sketch a brief plan when doing routine tasks with an unfamiliar culture. (For ex. performance reviews, interviews, meetings, etc.)
The ability to adapt when relating and working in multicultural relationships.
Is it a “tight” or “loose” culture? (Tight = the one right way vs. Loose = enjoys hearing from many different perspectives)
Will adapting compromise the organization or me?
Will retaining the differences make us stronger?
Diversity does not automatically lead to better innovation.
Diversity leads to innovation only when the leader has a high cultural intelligence and then it performs 3x more.
Diversity x CQ = Innovation
Research proves everyone who wants to do so can improve their CQ.
In our polarized world, we need leaders willing to become more curious and more understanding and willing to put a strategy into action!