Cultural differences can be a catalyst for conflict, but they don’t have to be. Globalization and the internet are blurring the physical barriers between nations and people. Despite the distance, we are now closer than we have ever been before. This proximity has opened our eyes to differences and similarities between various cultures. Rather than creating conflicts, this presents a chance for humankind to turn these differences into valuable experiences to learn, embrace and grow together with others.
Cultural intelligence (CQ for cultural quotient) provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to improve connections between people, making the world a better place while expanding their business. Now more than ever, this opportunity is more than a bonus to your established business model; it is a ‘business imperative”. In 2011, Forbes pointed out the dangers that a lack of cultural intelligence presents to the American (in that particular case, United Statesian) economy and politics. Fortunately, we have come a long way since then and cultural awareness is increasingly being embraced by multinationals and individuals alike.
Emerging Markets = Cultural Intelligence
The rise of emerging markets is expected to take the forefront of global economic growth. CQ will thus become crucial to enable communication between staff from different cultural backgrounds at global offices. Beyond business, cultural intelligence is equally a powerful tool for resolving conflict in a world where mingling cultural differences increase the risk of a clash. By adopting CQ, a business is not only boosting performance (in any sector, really), it’s also promoting communication and understanding across cultures. And this is precisely what the world needs to achieve greater harmony.
How to become culturally conscious
CQ comes with a complete set of training and tests, but you can already take the 1st step. Next time you find yourself facing a conflictual situation, ask yourself: How can I better understand the culture of my colleagues, employees or partners to find common ground?