cultural intelligence

a practical approach to diverse environments

The capability to function effectively across national, ethnic, and organisational cultures, consisting of four dimensions, which can as well be arranged as a four-step (learning) circle.

  • Drive
    Interest and confidence in functioning effectively in culturally diverse settings, including the sense of the benefits to be gained from intercultural interactions.
  • Knowledge
    Understanding how culture influences the way people think and behave, how cultures are similar and different, including knowledge about economic, family, educational, legal, religious and artistic systems.
  • Strategy
    Skill to make sense of culturally diverse experiences, including the ability to plan accordingly, to check assumptions and expectations during interactions, and to reflect on experiences later.
  • Action
    Capability to adapt verbal and nonverbal behaviour to make it appropriate to diverse cultures. It involves having a flexible repertoire of behavioural responses that suit a variety of situations.

The concept of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) was outlined first by Earley and Ang in 2003 and more fully developed later by David Livermore in “Leading with Cultural Intelligence“.

Many intercultural trainings only deal with the “Knowledge” part of CQ.
But to be effective in an unfamiliar environment this knowledge needs to be integrated with your motivation, your task and your behaviour. Which are elements that define your relationship with the context and which you will take with you anywhere you get active.

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