Hi, I am Robin Kelly; I work as an internal evaluator for the National Minority AIDS Council, which is a federally funded nongovernmental organization that provides capacity building assistance to community based organizations and health departments that have programs or interventions to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I mention it because we work in communities of color. In doing so, attention to culture, be it individual, or organizational, must be given paramount attention.
Also, I live and work in Washington, DC. , a city of hot summers, temperate falls, unpredictable winters, warm springs and varying political winds all year long. It is also an extraordinarily diverse city. From the people to the types of nongovernmental organizations that exist here, there are a plethora of cultures.
The phrase cultural intelligence (CQ) is used as we systematically address the evaluation of personal interests and interactions. The abbreviated meaning of the term is the capability to function effectively across various cultural contexts (national, ethnic, organizational, generational, etc.) with heightened awareness of the characteristics of those in that setting, be they organizational culture or individual. Some have referred to cultural intelligence as the sister to emotional intelligence.
Hot Tip: When you are placed in an international or local setting or working with foreign nationals, remember to flex your CQ skills. When working with individuals or groups who represent diverse cultures, remember that each participant has four distinct capabilities that you will need to be sensitive to:
- Drive – motivation
- Cognition- understanding
- Strategic outlook-awareness
- Action-behavior (in new settings)
Rad Resource: Consider using a tool to optimize your CQ. In addition to the tips above a tool will help to reframe or adjust to those with whom you wish to consult or interact or provide a service. To see a tool that I recommend, see SAMPLE CQ SELF-TEST. The complete assessment can be found in Building Cultural Intelligence by Richard D. Bucher.
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