What is Cultural Intelligence
People have long understood that success in today’s globalized economy requires an ability to adapt to different cultures.
Cultural Intelligence is unique in that it focuses specifically on the skills needed for success in unfamiliar cultures. Leaders with the ability to Leverage Diversity have a good understanding as to how to encounter new cultural situations, judge what goes on in them and make appropriate adjustments, to understand and behave effectively in those otherwise disorienting circumstances.
Cultural Intelligence begins with four distinct capabilities namely:
- Drive (motivation), the person’s interest confidence in functioning effectively in culturally diverse settings. Our studies have found that without eagerness to take on the challenges of multicultural work, leaders face a high rate of failure.
- Knowledge (cognition), the person’s knowledge of how cultures are similar and different. The point is not to be an expert on every culture but to understand core cultural differences and their effects on everyday business.
- Strategy (meta-cognition), how the person makes sense of culturally diverse experiences. This comes into play when making judgments about one’s own or others’ thought processes. It makes possible effective planning in the context of cultural differences.
- Action (behavior), the person’s capability to adapt his or her behavior to different cultures. It requires having a flexiblemrepertoire of responses to suit various situations while still remaining true to one’s self.