Following from the Drive component of CQ I would like to reflect on the Knowledge (Cognitive) component. CQ knowledge refers to your understanding of cultural similarities and differences; it includes knowledge of the values, norms and practices in different cultures settings. This knowledge can be acquired through educational and personal experiences; and encompasses the economic, political, legal institutions and social customs to name just a few.
Why do we need CQ Knowledge?
To allow us to have greater appreciation of the systems that shape and cause specific patterns of social behaviours and interaction within a culture
Improve interpersonal interactions with people from culturally diverse backgrounds, i.e. communication, relationships and trust
Improve your leadership and management skills to ensure that they reflect the cultural setting that you are working, leading and managing in and across
To navigate effectively through ambiguity and conflict in culturally diverse settings
To have the awareness and skills to instantaneously adjust your behaviours while interacting with people from unfamiliar cultures.
While you cannot be an expert on every culture, you can understand the core cultural differences and their impact on everyday business. CQ knowledge is not fixed, rather it is a mental habit that can be altered and expanded. I often find that one of the best methods of seeking new knowledge is from gaining a basic understanding of key past events and basic country history. This can provide a deeper insight into the general values, behaviours and attitudes that are displayed by individual mindsets and the wider community.
Strategies for Improving CQ Knowledge:
Choose a culture that interests you. Read a novel, magazine or local newspaper from an overseas site; or an author native to that country
Listen to overseas radio programs
Visit culturally significant places to learn more about them i.e. a mosque, synagogue or sporting venue
Visit art galleries or museums that display stories and artworks from other countries. These help you to gain a deeper understanding of why and how they were created and their cultural significance
Continuously observe body language, facial expressions, gestures when you are interacting with people of different cultural backgrounds
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, people love to talk about their culture. This can also be a great way to build relationships.
Consider some of your cultural assumptions and expectations
How do they impact your views and experiences when you are either traveling or interacting with people of other cultures?
How do you gain your CQ knowledge?
What are your preferred mediums to attain CQ knowledge? For example is it through reading, travelling, convsersations etc?
You may like to listen to my ‘CQ Knowledge’ Podcast in ‘CQ for Global Leaders’ by clicking here.
I would like to delve further into the four components of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) over the next few blog posts. This post will focus on Drive.
Drive is one of the key components to CQ. It is your interest, motivation and confidence to adapt to a multicultural situation. It consists of intrinsic and extrinsic interests and the drive to learn and understand different cultures, their norms and behaviours.
The intrinsic and extrinsic motivators are culturally determined. Extrinsic rewards are usually financial, such as salaries, bonuses and benefits. Intrinsic rewards are psychological rewards that individuals reap from engaging in meaningful work with a healthy balance of choice, competency, challenge and success.
As an individual you need to establish and maintain your own CQ drive and as a leader you also need to instill and support the motivation of your employees. Remember that your intrinsic and extrinsic motivators may be vastly different to those of your peers and employees so it is important to have a range of strategies in place.
Strategies for Improving CQ Drive for self:
Take some unconscious bias tests, seek feedback
Be prepared to make mistakes, learn from them and then move on
Identify your passions, what they are and why do you care about them?
Reflect on what guides and influences your behaviours and attitudes toward culturally diverse groups
Welcome opportunities to mentor others as a ‘cultural broker.’
Strategies for Improving CQ Drive for others:
Understand your own motivations, it will assist you when you are influencing and motivating others
Provide an exciting and clear vision of what can be accomplished i.e. share success stories and celebrate milestones
Ensure that the relevance between task and purpose is transparent. Help people to make clear connections between the vision and the work
Reinforce confidence in the self-management of individuals. Intrinsic motivation improves when people feel trusted and their expertise and skills are recognised and appreciated
Share customer feedback and interactions with individuals and the wider team. Not only does this promote purpose and goals, it also reinforces the successes and highlights areas for improvement.
Take a moment to consider what you find most challenging when you are in culturally diverse settings
Consider some of your CQ drivers and those that you have observed in others
How do you think improving your CQ drive could assist both yours and your teams overall level of CQ?
You may like to listen to my ‘CQ Drive’ Podcast in ‘CQ for Global Leaders‘ by clicking here.
I am looking forward to facilitating a half-day workshop ‘How does culture influence your story’ at The Story Conference to be held in Melbourne on 23rd November. There are still tickets available. For the month of June there are Super Early Bird registrations by using the code DrTomV50. For further information click here.
Procurious, is a unique online business networking site specifically designed for procurement and supply chain professionals.
Dr Verghese was interviewed in ‘Smashing through the bamboo ceiling’ to discuss the processes and barriers that serve to exclude Asians or people of Asian descent from executive positions in Western-run organisations.
A provocative article that features some pragmatic strategies toward shattering the bamboo ceiling.
I regularly deliver unconscious bias workshops and keynote addresses. It’s an engaging subject that has relevance for all of us. Unconscious and conscious biases are prevalent in our private, public and professional lives, revealed through our perceptions, beliefs, behaviours and decision-making processes.
Recently I created two podcasts to share with listeners some of the benefits that past clients have observed and experienced, both personally and organisationally.
Following up with clients over staggered periods of time to discover the long-term effects and outcomes training has for participants is one of the aspects that I most enjoy about what I do. I am a big believer in feedback, in using it constructively in ways that will enhance and improve our programs, and provide ongoing learning opportunities.
Recently Tom was interviewed by Andy Kaufman to discuss the importance of cultural intelligence. Tom and Andy discuss various scenarios from project managing global virtual teams in the U.S. and Germany to planning a visit to China and strategies for facilitating successful virtual meetings.