What is a cultural assessment tool?

Published on April 6th, 2023

Country Navigator cultural assessment tool

Understanding why people do things the way they do can increase cultural understanding and empathy among different people. But how can we achieve that?  

This is exactly what cultural assessment tools do. Cultural profiling tools can be immensely helpful for understanding why people and groups respond to stimuli differently. With such a tool, we can understand cultural differences and prevent misunderstandings by educating ourselves on cultural norms that may not align with our own. By properly utilizing a cultural assessment tool, we can create more unified and cohesive communities regardless of the cultural values and attitudes of the members of those communities. 

A cultural assessment tool can help us contextualize behaviors by providing insight into cultural values and worldviews. This type of cultural understanding helps reduce cultural conflict, enhances cultural intelligence, improves team performance, and fosters collaboration among all involved. As such, cultural profiling tools are crucial for providing meaningful knowledge about the cultural traits that shape behavior and fuel communication barriers — this makes them invaluable resources in any business or professional setting. 

What is the importance of culture to an organization? 

Understanding others is essential in our lives. It helps us to build strong relationships, develop empathy and understanding, and create a sense of community. By having an open mind and learning about other people’s beliefs, cultures, and values, we can strengthen our identity and become more tolerant towards those who are different from us. 

Culture and cultural intelligence are essential elements of any successful business. Cultural intelligence (also known as CQ) is the ability to understand, appreciate, and effectively manage intercultural differences in order to maximize one’s effectiveness in working with people from other cultures. An effective understanding of culture can help organizations build bridges between different professional cultures, create more productive, collaborative work environments, and foster a better understanding of the many cultures that are present in today’s dynamic global economy. It is essential for any business to have an appreciation and respect for cultural diversity if they want to be successful in their operations. 

The purpose of a cultural assessment tool

The most important purposes of cultural assessment tools are: 

  • Increase self and other awareness  
  • Create a cultural profile
  • Share and compare  

Increase self and other awareness 

The purpose of a cultural assessment tool is to increase self and other awareness.  Exploring one’s values, beliefs, and behavior enables individuals to better understand the impact their culture has on the way they think and live. It allows them to see how they may interact differently with people from different backgrounds or cultures.  

The insight gained from a cultural assessment tool can also be used to create an understanding of the impact of one’s culture on relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. In addition, it can lead to increased empathy for those who have different values and beliefs. Understanding the nuances of differences in cultures empowers individuals to be more effective communicators and collaborators. 

Create a cultural profile 

A cultural assessment tool can also be used to create a cultural profile. By understanding and evaluating one’s values, beliefs, and behaviors in relation to those of others, an individual can learn how different cultures interact with each other.  

A cultural profile can also be used to gain a better understanding of the differences between cultures, and how these differences can either bring people together or cause division in relationships. Having this knowledge enables individuals to better navigate relationships with those from different backgrounds.

Share and compare 

The final purpose of a cultural assessment tool is to share and compare. By comparing the similarities and differences between various cultural profiles, individuals can develop a more inclusive perspective. Additionally, this knowledge can lead to greater empathy and compassion amongst different cultures and backgrounds. Understanding the nuances of differences in cultures enables individuals to be better communicators and collaborators, leading to a more harmonious society. 

No.1 Cultural Assessment tool for diverse teams 

Country Navigator is an essential platform for teams and organizations seeking to maximize cultural intelligence. Our digital assessments, tools, and learning pathways provide the insight needed to navigate culture more effectively and productively, allowing you to capitalize on the benefits of diversity in your workplace. 

We give individuals, teams, and organizations a comprehensive understanding of global cultures – from communication styles to decision-making processes – arming them with the tools and knowledge necessary for building truly inclusive global workplaces. 

Country Navigator is trusted by hundreds of leading organizations worldwide, providing world-class cultural assessment solutions that will help you identify and break down barriers within your organization, build trust between colleagues, and foster a more collaborative environment. 

Results of the cultural assessment tool in the workplace 

The cultural assessment tool does not provide good or bad outcomes. Rather, it provides a contextual look at cultural differences, allowing for different profiles to be measured in different environments such as work and home.  

This unemotional approach is a way of describing cultural perspectives and approaches that allows stakeholders to better understand their cultural context and how it impacts their operations. By providing an objective cultural assessment tool, stakeholders can better identify cultural differences that could potentially become obstacles to cultural integration and understanding. In this way, the cultural assessment tool provides a valuable data source for evaluating cultural dynamics and developing appropriate strategies for cultural integration.  

Overall, the cultural assessment tool provides a comprehensive look at cultural profiles, allowing stakeholders to better understand cultural differences and identify potential cultural obstacles. Through this tool, stakeholders can develop effective strategies for cultural integration that are tailored to the context of their environment in order to facilitate cultural understanding and harmony. 

Cultural dimensions 

Culture is composed of many dimensions. The cultural assessment tool measures the cultural differences between different countries and organizations. 

The WorldPrism model of cultural difference is a cultural assessment tool that was developed to provide business clients with an intuitive tool to help them identify and adjust their approach when dealing with the rich dynamics of cross-cultural situations. The model draws from a selection of cognitive and behavioral differences in order to create a thoughtful solution that respects the complexity respect involved. 

It categorizes cultural attitudes into three distinct dimensions: 

  1. Relating 
  1. Regulating 
  1. Reasoning 

Relating looks at social expectations concerning how we should interact with each other, while Regulating encompasses our beliefs about how we should manage the environment around us. Lastly, Reasoning addresses our thought processes when tackling problems. Together these three cultural dimensions provide an invaluable perspective on understanding cultural diversity and helping to navigate cultural differences. 

How understanding cultural profiles can lead to better relationships and collaboration  

A successful example of using a cultural assessment tool to improve relationships and collaboration was seen at a large research firm. The individuals on the team were from different countries around the world but had similar professional backgrounds. Despite this commonality, however, they often found themselves disagreeing and having difficulty working together effectively. 

The team leader realized that the root of their problems was a cultural misunderstanding, and decided to bring in a consultant to help. The consultant conducted a cultural assessment tool with the team members, asking them questions about their backgrounds, beliefs, values, and communication styles. This helped identify areas where their views diverged so that strategies for bridging these gaps could be developed.  

The team leader facilitated further discussions to improve mutual understanding and respect. As a result, the team became much more successful in working together collaboratively and achieving their goals. The cultural assessment tool had been instrumental in helping them recognize each other’s differences and develop better relationships with one another.  This is just one example of how cultural assessment tools can be used to improve collaboration.  

With this knowledge, individuals and organizations can work effectively together despite their differences. By understanding each other’s cultural backgrounds, values, beliefs, and communication styles, we can build stronger relationships that lead to greater success.  Understanding how different cultures shape our views can help us better appreciate the diversity of perspectives and create an environment of collaboration and understanding.  It is only by working together that we can truly achieve our goals.  Cultural assessment tools are a powerful tool to help us bridge cultural divides and work together more successfully.   

It is essential to continually improve the cultural assessment tool to increase its effectiveness. Cultural assessments can provide invaluable insight into an organization’s culture, helping leaders assess their team’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential growth opportunities. Additionally, they can be used to identify areas where change or further training is required.  

We’ve got over three decades of experience supporting over 1 million people worldwide. We’re passionate about delivering change; how can we help you?