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Mice Asia Net : July 2008
cross cultural intelligence story by Angeline Teo culture cross your PEP WorldWidE AsiA Pacific principal and principal consultant of d’oz international, Angeline Teo, says possibilities are endless when you understand culture. A new realm of intelligence is emerging as the key to long-term success – personally and professionally speaking. According to Christopher Earley and Elaine Mosakowski in the October 2004 issue of Harvard Business Review, Cultural Quotient (CQ) is described as an exemplary provider of strategies that transform cultural perception in order to read between and among behaviors that are driven by varying cultures, paving the way for the awareness and appreciation of the differences or diversities. With cultural quotient or intelligence, you are offered guiding principles which you can adopt in the event of your response, behavior or actions. CQ has become popular and acceptable throughout the business community and can soon be tagged as a reliable one-stop shop of corporate solutions in the light of organisation, people and management. Akin to any discipline or science, CQ involves an incessant pursuit to learning in which the knowledge already obtained would require an equal amount of attention in keeping it updated and relevant. To be culturally intelligent, you need to commit to a comprehensive recognition of the diversities arising from cultural background of people and nations; and knowing must translate to a good comprehension of these identified existing differences. Only then you will be able to establish a multicultural communication approach that can foster relationship development, enabling us to acknowledge and engage individuals and adapt to cultural nuances. There is nothing wrong in holding onto our own culture. Culture is defined as a rich combination of personal history, economic and technological influences of the societies in which he or she develops, being an element responsible for shaping our interactions with the world. However, when it is held inappropriately sparking the feeling of indifference and bias towards others, then you fall on the verge of alienation and detachment. It can pose a real danger when you are working in a very diverse working environment, with global counterparts to deal with. It does not only affect the completion of your work, but also hamper your personal growth and advancement. Who would want a stagnated state when you can only deal with the people existing within your comfort zone? No man is an island - may it be even at work. 24 miceAsia.net It has been proven that one of the ingredients of success is the ability to identify and relate with different types of people – whether you are dealing with your boss, subordinate, owner of the company, competitor, business partners, vendors, stakeholders and the expatriate manager from your offshore branch. Cultural intelligence is the new trend being adopted by various workplaces today for the following reasons: Innovation - cultural intelligence plays an important role in how the employees perform their work. Having a wide-ranging knowledge and understanding of things, an individual becomes armed with a collection of various ways of solving complex problems and completing task – as a result of enthused innovation and creativity. And that becomes your competitive advantage. Team Effort - the evidence of cultural understanding makes it easy for employees to work with their co-employees. Knowing the work ethics, values, beliefs and background of people you are working with ensures a smooth-flowing and seamless journey towards fulfillment of a goal or objective. Nothing beats a superb amount of group effort as opposed to that of the individual! Fulfillment - the amount of satisfaction arising from the possession of high EQ or IQ is less compared to that of cultural intelligence. IQ deals primarily with one’s self, yourself; while EQ covers only the emotional aspect. And for CQ, it is aimed at targeting a bigger scope, involving deeper and holistic understanding of what a person is made of. Gone are the days of leaders or managers with high IQs or EQs in demand. What organisations should start emphasizing in their job ads is a qualification of being highly-culturally intelligent for their search of a prospective member of their workforce. CQ is an important leadership trait for a successful global or even local role in an organisation. Globalization is looming on every workplace, on every region. Cross your own culture now and embrace the immeasurable pinnacle of the new kind of success! Angeline Teo is the principal partner of PEP Worldwide in Asia Pacific and is also principal consultant of d’Oz International, a corporate training and management consulting firm providing corporate training, tourism consulting and management consultancy services to international markets. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or vist:www.d-oz.com.