Cultural intelligence is an outsider’s seemingly natural ability to interpret someone’s unfamiliar and ambiguous gestures the way that person’s compatriots would.
Why does increasing your cultural quotient makes good business sense?
Most people who don’t really interact with clients outside India, believe increasing their cultural quotient is not important.
Research shows that we have a definite bias, conscious or unconscious towards people that are like us viz race, color, skin, values, traditions, age etc. This is well documented in the work done by Harvard Professors:
People with a common nationality or people from the same region tend to gravitate towards each other. Anyone that has lived or studied abroad will vouch for this. We see this phenomenon at the work place all the time: a shared cultural/regional heritage is usually a reason for immediate bonding.
Every home, every organization and every country has a distinct “culture”. If a person is more comfortable interacting with like minded people ie people with a similar age & education profile, socio-economic background and those that hold matching views, they find it difficult to work in a diverse e
If you see merit in embracing diversity and improving your cultural quotient, there are 3 simple strategies that will help:
1. Embrace diversity; not just tolerate it:Step out of your comfort zone & learn about other cultures. Travel to off-beat locations, talk with people that are different from you, make an effort to know those you have little in common with
2. Appreciate the reasons behind the customs and traditions. To outsiders, some customs and ways of functioning may seem odd because they see what is happening on the surface. They don’t know the reasons behind the tradition. Once you develop an
3. Suspend judgement: Become aware of differences&appreciate them. When we see life through our mind lens, we often look down on things that are different from the way we work.. We pass judgement and like or dislike things.
4. Be sensitive to the customs and traditions. Mirror them through your actions