#ChallengeTheProcess: Cultural intelligence: inclusion across cultures

Our second Global Inclusion Week topic is inclusion across cultures, exploring how you can help your multicultural employees to feel accepted.

In a world that’s culturally diverse, cultural intelligence can help us to work more effectively together, show respect towards others, and be adaptable in different environments. The big question is: why does it matter to your organisation?

What is cultural intelligence?

Cultural intelligence, or CQ, is our individual ability to understand and show awareness of our cultural surroundings. In culturally diverse situations, we should be able to adapt and work effectively with people. This includes overcoming language barriers and unfamiliarity. This approach in business leads to more innovation, better decision making, and better leadership to name a few. CQ has been researched for over 20 years and is believed to vastly improve our working and personal relationships.

CQ is closely linked with cultural humility and cultural sensitivity – two concepts that promote respect, awareness and acceptance of other cultures.

Key benefits of CQ

  • Competitive advantage to your business
  • More innovation and creativity
  • Better business decision-making
  • Success in culturally diverse markets
  • Profitability and cost savings
  • Greater diversity of thought and participation
  • Better leadership of diverse teams
  • Increased loyalty from customers and stakeholders
  • Combats unconscious and cultural bias

Developing CQ and awareness

If you think your leadership teams, decision-makers and colleagues could improve their cultural intelligence, here are three things you can do to drive this initiative forward.

1. Increase knowledge of other cultures

Facilitate self-learning by offering educational resources or setting up internal events for your colleagues to connect. Creating opportunities to learn about cultural rituals and celebrations that colleagues may observe is the easiest way to get people talking and sharing.

2. Challenge the Process

This is our Eximia mantra and it’s something we live by. Challenging the way things have always been done can make room for new and improved processes. Challenging our perceptions and assumptions of people can open our minds and help us to build new meaningful connections. Encourage your teams to speak up if they have ideas, question decisions they want clarity on, and be curious to learn about other cultures.

3. Start self-reflecting

By exploring your own world views, values and perspectives, you’ll see where there may be gaps or bias in your knowledge and understanding. This deep dive can be confronting but is a great opportunity for learning. This could be an individual task for your colleagues or a collective challenge.

We all have a role to play in developing cultural intelligence, and committing to our ongoing learning, understanding and self-reflection.

Are your internal communications falling flat? We can help you engage, educate and empower your employees on topics just like this. Reach out for an informal chat.

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