Although we’re already halfway through the month of January, you may still be thinking about your goals for 2020 and for this new decade. Hopefully, you’ve not already given up on your New Year’s resolutions! As you think about the changes you’d like to make, maybe you are focused on the usual: losing weight, getting more exercise, or spending less time on social media. But, how about a different kind of goal?
How about improving your cultural intelligence (CQ)?
You’ve heard about all the different types of intelligence, but perhaps Cultural IQ (CQ) is a new one. Basically, Cultural Intelligence is the capacity to work and interact effectively with groups of people from any culture. It is the ability to make sense of unfamiliar contexts and then blend in. We live, work, and play in an increasingly culturally diverse global setting. Developing cultural intelligence will give you the confidence to manage and appreciate this changing world and may open unexpected doors for friendship and adventure.
To develop greater CQ, follow these tips:
- Examine your own attitudes toward culture in general.
- Analyze the way your own perspective has developed through personal experiences and background.
- Be aware of and question your own assumptions and stereotypes.
- Note your own biases when interacting with others from a different cultural context. Practice breaking away from those biases.
- View the world with curiosity, an open mind, and a desire to understand and relate to anyone who is different from you. These differences may be related to background, age, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, and values.
- Explore cultural differences by reading newspapers and books, watching movies, traveling to another country, or being friends with people from a different culture.
- Look for opportunities to get to know members of another culture who live and work close to you, begin to learn a foreign language, or volunteer with a group that involves people of different cultures.
- Pay careful attention to the way others interact with each other, study their body language, ask careful questions, and practice empathy and adaptability.
- Attempt to understand how their culture influences what they say and do.
- Practice interacting even while knowing that cultural misunderstandings will happen.
- Relax, listen, reflect, and even be prepared to apologize.
As you raise your CQ you may find that your capacity to enjoy those who are different from you has grown and that you share far more than you expected.
Then, put all that CQ into practice by checking out IDEAS opportunities to work in an overseas setting to bring hope to others.
How will you raise your CQ this year?