What is cultural intelligence? Like emotional intelligence, or EQ, cultural intelligence, or CQ, consists of four components: drive, knowledge, strategy, and action (Livermore, 2015). Drive has to do with the motivation to plan the cultural aspects of the project. Knowledge refers to knowing how any cultural influences may affect a project. Strategy has to do with the visions and insights in planning the project. Actions have to do with behavioral changes that need to be culturally adapted for a project.
There should always be room for growth regarding policies, procedures, practices, and structures to become more diverse, inclusive, equitable, respectful, and tolerant.
Living between our dashes from birth to death, we should consider ourselves a work in progress to become more linguistically and culturally competent. There should always be room for improvement when it comes to cultural intelligence.
As a former K-12 teacher, I have butchered students’ names in the past. As the Executive Director of a nonprofit with many multicultural members, I am still guilty of botching some non-Western names and profusely apologize to all.
In reading a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, you should just ask if you don’t know how to pronounce someone’s name.
Kudos to LinkedIn for providing the means for its users to incorporate some cultural intelligence. If you have the mobile LinkedIn app from the Apple App or Google Play Stores, you might get a notification that allows you to make a ten-second recording of your name, but you have to do this on your phone and not your desktop.
Many of our brilliant front line workers may have non-Western names. Many of our unemployed may have non-Western names. If you read the Harvard Business Review article previously noted, it links to another article stating that 28% of people with white-sounding names will typically get a call back for a job interview. What about the others?
We are living these unprecedented times. According to ShadowStats, there is a 31.2% unemployment rate as of June 2020, including the U3, which gets reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U6, which does not. Every unemployed person in America, no matter who they are, would love to have a job. Embrace diversity!
Diverse teams drive more innovation and help increase revenue, reduce expenses, and improve “efficiencies when marketing and selling new products in new markets” (Livermore, 2015, p. 20).
America should no longer be thought of as a melting pot, but should now be considered a salad bowl or a gumbo. Where did your ancestors come from?
Think about your cultural competency and how to increase your CQ and learn how to pronounce people’s names with a little help from your friend, LinkedIn. Visit my profile and hear how I pronounce my name.
Livermore, D. (2015). Leading with cultural intelligence (2nd ed). American Management Association.
Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.