Becoming culturally competent through cultural intelligence

cultural intelligence Jul 01, 2021

We live in a fast-paced, highly complex and constantly changing global environment.  While cultural competence has always been important when conducting business across borders, in the 21st century it has emerged as a conscious competence that is an important antecedent to doing business successfully.  Smart business leaders increasingly recognize the critical importance of developing cross-cultural communication skills because in today’s complex and highly ambiguous interconnected global world, savvy business leaders must possess more than strong functional business skills – they must also possess strong intercultural skills that will enable them to navigate through the cultural complexities inevitable in any intercultural interaction.

While humans are born with the ability to learn language, we are not born with an innate ability to communicate with people – we must therefore learn to communicate by observing others and learning from those who have raised and influenced us.  As we seek advancement in our careers, we must continue the learning process of what it means to be emotionally intelligent (EQ).  While it is a fact that we live in a multicultural society, we may not be aware of the differences in cultural communication styles.  In today’s global environment it is necessary to consciously focus on cultural intelligence (CQ) and learn some basics of how to communicate with others who are not like us.  Even if you consider yourself a good communicator, all of us can benefit from instruction that will help us become more aware of the multiple communication styles and patterns that can cause much confusion in day to day interactions.  Openness, inquisitiveness, willingness to engage with others, and teach-ability are characteristics that will benefit the global leader.


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