… Let’s continue looking at the four capabilities of CQ:
First we laid a foundation of curiosity, then built on it comments and questions about our motivation and drive for cross-cultural engagement (CQ Drive). From there we explored the combinations and permutations of cultural norms and assumptions (CQ Knowledge).
My favourite word when working with people through transition and growth is “intentionality.” We have to intentionally and on-purpose It’s great to want to, even be driven to engage effectively in a cross-cultural situation. And it’s even better when we recognize that you and I expect and assume different methods of, for example, communication. I speak directly; asking direct questions expecting direct answers. You, in this example, communicate indirectly, perhaps even circumspectly to protect honour and “face” of both you and me. I, in that context, need to learn to – as one culture states it – ‘read the air.’
These are, at this point, separate thoughts, separate capabilities; you are aware something cultural is going on, but you haven’t planned a way of managing that awareness; you need CQ Strategy. In anticipation of a cross-cultural engagement, you need to plan for effectiveness.
Strategy begins with your self-awareness. (I think all of these capabilities begins with self-awareness. I love the move from cultural-sensitivity, spearheaded in the health care industry, to “cultural humility.” I define humility as an honest awareness of my own strengths (without arrogance) and weaknesses (without humiliation). But I digress…)
Remember my favourite word? I must plan intentionally to enter the cross-cultural situation. This takes time, research, conversations and thought. Don’t wing it! I'm about to interview an international student/graduate from south Asia; how does that impact my thinking about them and the job? How would they work in teams?
And, after being aware and planning, someone with high CQ strategy is always evaluating. How did we do? What could improve? Where did I ‘put my foot in my mouth?’ And ask better, evaluative and open ended questions.
What’s your CQ?