Thursday, November 17, 2011

CQ: CULTURAL QUOTIENT & CI (Cultural Intelligence)

I had heard about the term IQ (Intelligence Quotient) & EQ (Emotional Quotient), but not about CQ (Cultural Quotient) or CI (Cultural Intelligence)? Here is some info. However, I admit, this is a NEW concept or rather a NEW terminology. 

“The ability to cope with national, corporate and vocational cultures. CQ is the ability to make sense of unfamiliar contexts and then blend in.”- as first described by Christopher Earley and Elaine Mosakowski, who coined the term, in Harvard Business Review (HBR), October 2004 Issue.

Cultural Quotient, or CQ for short, helps us understand and communicate with people from other cultures effectively. Alternative definition: “It is one’s ability to recognize cultural differences through knowledge and mindfulness, and behave appropriately when facing people from other cultures”. 

Why CQ? Widespread globalization- People of different cultures today live together everywhere in the world. More opportunities to interact with foreigners in many aspects (domestically, business, work, etc).One would need to know the customs of other cultures, especially the taboos or risk offending people. People with higher CQ would be able to interact with people from other cultures easily and more effectively. 

The 3 parts of CQ:
The Head / Cognitive
(rote learning about the beliefs, customs, and taboos of foreign cultures, the approach corporate training programs tend to favour, will never prepare a person for every situation that arises, nor will it prevent terrible gaffes),

The Body / Physical
(one will not disarm one’s foreign hosts, guests, or colleagues simply by showing that one understands their culture; one’s actions and demeanour must prove that one has already to some extent entered their world), and

The Heart / Emotional / Motivational
(Adapting to a new culture involves overcoming obstacles and setbacks. People can do that only if they believe in their own efficacy).

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