6 tips on how to develop Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

Published on April 11th, 2021

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Cultural intelligence is a crucial skill in today’s world. As we are working and living in a multicultural community, acquiring a different set of perspectives, knowledge and skills is important in order to succeed. You need to be prepared to communicate and work with people from different backgrounds, races and cultures. Gaining knowledge about other cultures is no longer optional. It is necessary in order to learn, understand and deal with different situations competently. There are various ways to develop cultural intelligence in your workplace.

Here are 6 tips on how to develop cultural intelligence

1. To develop a high level of cultural sensitivity engage with cultural profiling tools such as Country Navigator made for developing cultural intelligence. Gain an awareness of your own working behaviours and build an understanding of how to differ from the cultures you regularly work with. Gain insights and advice on how to overcome differences and adapt for success.

2. Find a common ground that allows you to connect across cultures and leads to a better understanding of an individual. It is a great tactic for creating a mutual bond and helps to develop trust and respect and eliminates barriers in communication.

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3. Stereotyping is a common practice and helps to give you a profile of another person, but it can be dangerous as it can lead to making negative and unfounded assumptions. What you need to remember is that people from different cultures have their own practices and beliefs that may differ from your own. Try to understand and judge a person on his own worth instead of assessing him from a cultural point of view.

4. Maintain an open mind about culture and get curious. You can always do this by searching the web or talking to other people in your workplace. Our blog is a great source of information and you can use it to learn something new about a different culture like their cultural behaviors and practices. You might even get some interesting facts that can be useful in dealing with people from different cultures.

5. Awareness and acceptance are important factors to consider when deciding to develop cultural intelligence. Being aware allows you to become more mindful of the practices and habits of people from another culture. Acceptance of their cultural practices shows your sense of empathy as to who they really are and how you see them. The way you treat another person will also reflect on how that person sees you. Accepting other cultures will enhance your level of empathy, which will help you become a true culturally intelligent individual.

6. Trying different foods unique to another culture is also a great way to understand other people. Aside from satisfying your taste buds, the way they prepare their special delicacies may give you an idea about their traditions. This is also a great way to meet new people and establish great relationships.


Terence Brake is an author in the global learning & development field and has over 20 years of experience helping executives to work better across cultures.

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