Discuss each specific element of the ABC’s (Acquire, Build, Contemplate, and Do) of Cultural Intelligence

Discuss each specific element of the ABC’s (Acquire, Build, Contemplate, and Do) of Cultural Intelligence

            In this day and age, when people are moving around all over the planet, in any organization you will find coworker from a different background and with a different value. Moreover, we often need to travel to a different city, a different state or to a different country. It is just safe to assume that we are going to experience personal level, regional level, and national level values and culture. One might have intelligence and emotional intelligence, but without cultural intelligence, it would be impossible to navigate through the diversity most organizations employ.

Cultural Intelligence consists of 4 parts –

Acquire knowledge

            Build strategic thinking



Acquiring knowledge about the culture one interacts with is the first step in developing cultural intelligence. One must pay attention to learn the cultural symbols, behaviors, reactions and any other possible information. Just to add my 2 cents, peer learning, observing and active listening can accelerate the process of acquiring knowledge.

Strategic thinking is when one uses this acquired knowledge. One good example we see in this week’s reading when the author was waiting for the UAE man to check her passport. She had the knowledge that left hand was considered to be not pure and she used the knowledge and switched hands. Similarly, the information we get, we need to contemplate and understand so we know when to use it and how to use it.

            We need to learn when to switch off our personal biases and open our minds to the new culture and why. Mainly to navigate through unfamiliar situations, and learn. The big motivation should be the (leadership) position one is in, knowing that organizations are spread across different regions and countries and it is better to learn the cultural differences and develop cultural intelligence so one can learn and quickly adapt to changes of situation.

            Behavior would change based on the changed situation, and that is the sign of cultural intelligence.  This might sound bit complicated, but culturally intelligent people actually change their behavior based on what is acceptable or what is expected in a situation and surroundings. Adapting is the essential skill to adjust to a new cultural setup and one needs to change his or behavior accordingly.

 What makes culture intelligence unique and how does it differ from emotional and social intelligence? 

Cultural intelligence is more of a framework to steer through unfamiliar cultural situations. Cultural Intelligence is an outsider’s seemingly natural ability to interpret someone’s unfamiliar and ambiguous gestures the way that person’s compatriots would (Early and Mosakowski, 2004). Cultural intelligence is more specific than emotional and social intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others (Psychology Today, n.d.). If you are an active listener and empathetic you will carry that quality where you go and when you show empathy to another individual and try to understand his or her individual situation, you will be using your emotional intelligence.

Social Intelligence is showing the same intelligence that is picking up others emotions, picking up on cues in one’s social environment, so essentially this is emotional intelligence applied on a social level.

Culture Intelligence is more of applying or acting on what the person picks us using emotional intelligence. Hence adaptation and adjusting become more important in new cultural situations.

 What makes cultural intelligence particularly valuable in terms of leadership competency in today’s global market?

            In a world where crossing boundaries is routine, CQ becomes a vitally important aptitude and skill, and not just for international bankers and borrowers (Early and Mosakowski, 2004). As I see it, the cultural differences vary from nation to nation, based on region, and based on organizations, within the organization it varies based on team and then of course at an individual level. Within an organization, one has to deal with coworkers from a different cultural background or work with different teams or clients or different organizations. And in these situations, one has to know how to adapt and adjust, which is essentially cultural intelligence. And to do well in a team, with clients , vendors or customer or just to get along with a coworker from a different geographic location, one has to develop cultural intelligence. Especially in leadership role, because the market is global and most organizations are also global.

 References –

Earley, P.C and Mosakowski, E (October, 2004). Cultural Intelligence. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2004/10/cultural-intelligence

Retrieved on 9/22/2018. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/emotional-intelligence

Author: pachubabu

I love trying different cuisine, hiking, travelling and blogging about personal finance ,investing & health/fitness