Cultural intelligence in the workplace

Every passing day, the business world evolves picking up terms like emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence on its way. Working professionals often forget that their cultural perspective is quite different to that of their colleagues. Developing your cultural intelligence will get you so far up the ladder in your work place because you are capable of dealing with people from different cultures in a compassionate and passionate manner. According to an article, in the Harvard Gazette; David Livermore (president of the Cultural Intelligence Center) believes that a diverse work group with developed cultural intelligence is much more productive work group. And one with a high cultural intelligence will outperform homogeneous teams.


Employees with high cultural intelligence poses a greater ability to bridge divides and so called knowledge gaps in the work place. They also posses the employer coveted quality to drive up innovation and creativity in the work place. They do this because they have understood what their core and flex qualities comprise of. Core refers to those qualities that define us. Basically the lines we don’t want other people to cross whereas flex are the things we don’t mind changing such as how to greet in other cultures. Such abilities will help you trot in a land far away from home while keeping your professionalism uptight but exhibiting a natural intelligence.


Developing cultural intelligence is no easy task but your ability to bridge cultural differences at your work place may make or break your career. People work out different ways to do this at the work place; some learn a few words from other cultures and use them to muse their way into the colleagues’ lives. Employers love to see their employees get along and there are some ways to increase cultural intelligence levels in the work place.


Tips to increase levels of cultural intelligence in the work place

  1. Find the common ground; we humans are more alike than we care to think sometimes. Find what connects you with other people from different cultures. It could be meanings to certain words or practices being a bit similar. This way you get to understand other people a little more.

  2. Awareness; knowing a little more about other cultures will keep you from walking in the land of the awkward when you have to apologize for offending others around you. Know what sensitive lines one mustn’t cross in various cultures and try to keep them at the forefront of your mind when interacting with your colleagues from other cultures.

  3. Avoid pigeonholing; trying to understand someone is never a bad idea but how you do it is what counts. People often make bad presumptions without getting to know a little about the background reason for those acts. Labeling and classifying people is quite a common act but one of the most unhealthy acts committed in the working environment.

  4. Keep an open mind and accept all people types; we all are defined by the cultures we came from and have those awkward little things that wouldn’t sit well in other cultures. Your coming around this only means that you have increased your cultural intelligence.




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