INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Strategies for Developing Cultural Intelligence

| By Terence Brake

“In today’s borderless world, we know surprisingly little about diverse business people, whether they are a 12 hour flight away, or in the next cubicle.”  Edward Iwata, Silicon Valley journalist

In a world seemingly more divided than ever, businesses cannot afford to ignore cultural challenges and opportunities.

So, what is culture?

A shared pattern of assumptions, attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviours characteristic of a group. National culture is just one type of culture.  Others include regional, organizational, business function, team.

What does it mean to be culturally intelligent?

Cultural intelligence is the ability to work well with diverse individuals and groups. A word of warning, however - an individual is not simply a ‘mirror image’ of a cultural group.  It is crucial to remember that he or she has their own unique life experiences as well as their own personality.

What capabilities are needed to become culturally intelligent?

  • Motivation: desire and confidence to interact with others who are culturally different.
  • Curiosity: desire to understand and gain knowledge of cultural differences.
  • Adaptability: modification of one’s own thinking and behaviors to get best results in cross-cultural situations. 
  • Learning: reflection on cross-cultural experiences and making continuous improvements.

What are some strategies for developing cultural intelligence?

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