Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

You may have heard about relational intelligence and emotional intelligence/quotient (EQ). Today Terry and I heard from Dr. Ray Wheeler on Cultural Intelligence (CQ).  Read Ray’s blog here.  We are taking his class called Leading Across World Cultures in the M.A. Global Leadership program through Azusa Pacific University.

He defines Cultural Intelligence as  the “capability to function effectively across national, ethnic and organizational cultures.”   This requires us to risk with child-like discovery.  The greatest skill we can develop is the skill of observation and asking “why”.  Lest we think that CQ is only for missionaries, consider that we live in a global community.  Leadership today in a multicultural challenge. David Livermore in his book Leading with Cultural Intelligence defines a culture as any group of people who have a shared way of seeing and making sense of the world.

Understanding your Cultural Intelligence (CQ) will help you be AWARE of how you come across as a leader in your organization or ministry.

dapt your leadership style.  Some employees and cultures desire a more direct instruction while others prefer a more collaborative approach.  If you want to effectively lead, you need to understand the other person and lead accordingly.

W in over new Customers, Clients or Partners by understanding them.  What motivates them to buy your product?  Become involved?  Volunteer with you?  If you don’t build cultural sensitivity about those things, you will lose people.

dministration or management of  your personnel:  If you lead at any organizational level, you probably deal with employees and colleagues of other nationalities.  How do you manage holidays when they are celebrated at different days of the year?

 R espect.  Increasing your CQ will help you communicate respect and avoid unintentionally harming your relationships with others

nlist and engage new talent.   Understanding the culture of the other peoplewill help you recruit and engage them in your organization more effectively.

One thing that challenged me today was to observe myself as well, my attitude and behaviors and then to ask myself the question, “What impact do you think those things have on others?”   I must confess that I am somewhat fearful as I dig into this course to discover ways I have not exercised Cultural Intelligence (CQ);  On the other hand, there is hope in his words today that say I can increase my CQ and become more culturally aware.

In what ways does understanding CQ help you reflect on your own experience and learning as a leader?  Click here to leave a comment.

About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with Cru with my wife, Terry. We have been married 34 years and have 4 grown children. I have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right side bar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit:
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