CQ – Cultural Quotient
Look upon CQ as the “new normal”. We’re all different in our own ways – and understanding this is incredibly important in today’s diverse and inclusive workplace, as it allows us to drop the stereotypes about national characteristics and encourages every member of the team to shine.
In many senses, CQ is a further refining of EQ. It recognises that everyone shares the same emotions, aspirations and personality traits – it’s just that our cultural backgrounds may cause us to express them differently through our behaviours. By now, we’re used to recognising such differences, but people with higher CQ are skilled in spotting the commonalities behind these differences.
To get ahead on CQ, we have to look again at our worldview, and break away from biases towards other cultures. Sometimes, simply changing the language of how we look at something can help us do so. For example, what we may define as a “normal working environment” may not translate to everyone, but that does not make their view “abnormal” – just “different”.
Improving our cultural intelligence also requires a cultural curiosity – the more familiar you are with other customs and traditions, the less likely you are to judge them based on your own beliefs. One of the most effective ways to learn about cultures is through real life interactions. So, make friends from different backgrounds, keep an open mind, and stay curious!
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