top of page
  • Sarah Black

Why Cultural Intelligence?

I made a big decision at the end of 2023.

After reading and learning more about Cultural Intelligence (CQ), I invested in some serious training and committed to deepening my knowledge and understanding. I can't remember the last time I was this excited about spending more and more time learning about something!

Over the next couple of issues, I’m going to share more about CQ, what it is all about, and why I think it’s an essential capability for anyone working in PR and communications.

What is CQ?

“Cultural intelligence is the capability to function effectively in a variety of cultural contexts, including national, ethnic, organizational, generational and many others. It is a whole new way of approaching the age-old topics of cultural sensitivity, racism and multicultural effectiveness – and it’s a capability that anyone can develop.”

And that’s not all:

It is based on data and research – more than 200,000 people have participated in CQ assessments and a quick play on Google Scholar will give you an idea of its academic credentials.

It is the best predictor of success in working across cultures – forget how many countries you’ve lived or worked in or how many years of experience you have

You can grow and increase your CQ over time.

The CQ Framework:

So that all sounds good but how does it work? The CQ framework is built on four capabilities that together enable us to measure, enhance and identify ways to put our CQ into action.

Drive: that’s our interest, confidence and motivation for effectively engaging across difference

Knowledge: how much we know and understand about differences and similarities

Strategy: the extent to which we plan for working and engaging across differences/cultures.

Why it matters to comms professionals:

Greater understanding of our audiences: CQ gives us additional tools to better understand those with whom we’re trying to communicate, particularly when they are different from us

Self-reflection: as communicators, our biases, experiences and education inform how we communicate, and think about communication. CQ helps us better understand how we differ from those around us – and how to adapt to communicate more effectively

Global insights: if you are in comms and working across national or regional borders, CQ will help you develop your capacity to identify potential differences and adapt your comms strategies and tactics to become more effective

Perspective: we’re all busy. It can be hard to see the bigger picture. Working on your CQ can help you step back from the tactics and delivery to focus on taking a broader view of what’s going on.

Fair warning, I think there's going to be more to come! In the meantime, I'm off to read some more of the latest research and insights.

Interested in learning more about how CQ could help you and your team, drop me a note at sarah@athrucommunications.

Photo credit: Andrew Neel on Unsplash

1 view0 comments


bottom of page