Definitions of Cultural Intelligence
In today’s increasingly global and diverse contexts (work and non-work), it is important to be aware of Cultural Intelligence. This includes awareness of your own Cultural Intelligence and awareness of the Cultural Intelligence of others. Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is a person’s capability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity. CQ is a critical capability that enhances employee, manager, and organizational effectiveness. It also enhances interpersonal interactions in a wide range of social contexts. The Four Basic Aspects of Cultural Intelligence are:
- CQ-Strategy – how a person makes sense of culturally diverse experiences. It occurs when people make judgments about their own thought processes and those of others.
- CQ-Knowledge – a person’s knowledge about how cultures are similar and how cultures are different.
- CQ-Motivation – a person’s interest and confidence in functioning effectively in culturally diverse settings.
- CQ-Behavior – a person’s capability to adapt verbal and nonverbal behavior to make it appropriate to diverse cultures. It involves having a flexible repertoire of behavioral responses that suit a variety of situations.
Researchers, military personnel, and policymakers have used the phrase “cultural intelligence” and mentioned the urgency of developing cultural knowledge.Yet, the Intelligence Community lacks a systematic framework for fully understanding what “cultural intelligence” means. London Business School’s P. Christopher Earley and Nanyang Technological University’s Soon Ang [Intelligence in Recent Public Literature, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003] have done the legwork by meticulously examining cultural intelligence and laying out the concepts in a way that will benefit organizations and individuals engaged in global affairs….. Earley and Ang define cultural intelligence as “a person’s capability to adapt to new cultural contexts” Their key objective is to address the problem of why people fail to adjust to and understand new cultures. Behavioral, cognitive, and motivational aspects are central to their cultural intelligence framework. By integrating multi-disciplinary perspectives, research data, and practical applications, the authors add significantly to organizational behavior literature.
“Cultural intelligence provides a baseline for education and designing successful strategies to interact with foreign peoples whether they are allies, neutrals, people of an occupied territory, or enemies.”
-Incorporating Cultural Intelligence Into Joint Doctrine, by John P. (Jay) Coles, Commander, USN