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Cultural Intelligence Summary

5 min read ⌚ 

Cultural Intelligence Summary

People Skills for Global Business

Do you have the expertise to impart wisdom abroad, or at home? If you believe so, it’s time for the final test – Cultural Examination!!

In this book summary, we underline the key takeaways, in a nutshell, linked to cultural differences.

Who Should Read “Cultural Intelligence”? And Why?

In spite of some interesting details on various principles existing in this world, the book also gives high-quality info on diverse cultures.

Any person will benefit if decides to give this book a try. However, it’s best equipped for managers and other individuals who wish to try their entrepreneurial luck abroad.

About David C. Thomas and Kerr Inkson

Both David and Ker are management experts, and they proudly display their expertise in “Cultural Intelligence.”

David C. ThomasDavid C. Thomas currently works at Simon Fraser University as a professor of international management.

Kerr InksonWhile Kerr Inkson has the same role at the Auckland campus of Massey University located in New Zealand.

“Cultural Intelligence Summary”

This book briefly explains the value of having the knowledge of various cultures, in order to adapt your business or yourself to any environment. Nowadays, the globalization plays a significant role in merging these norms, and behaviors, quite often even unwittingly. Today’s circumstances compel us to embrace a more open-minded approach to absorb the variations between cultures.

Let’s get right into details:

The diverse business environments will get the best out of you if you remain rigid and resistant to change. The very embodiment of success is often described as the ability to adapt and overcome unexpected challenges.

The authors of “Cultural Intelligence” David C. Thomas and Kerr Inkson give us some insightful tips on various types of intelligence, and other info drawn from reliable sources.

Don’t go anywhere; we are just getting warmed up:

Adhering to the common ground rules can be both beneficial and dangerous. In other words, handling demands, from people with divergent cultural backgrounds is a skill of utmost importance, especially for an international manager.

The business environment demands openness and an adequate oversight of the differences existing in the organization. In general, sometimes you don’t have to leave your courtyard to test your “multicultural” skills. It’s not like in the old days when these processes only occur across the borders.

What’s the case?

The digital era connects the world and makes it function as a single unit. International links and fast communication opened the doors to a fast-flowing life, a concept that depends on various elements including cultural intelligence.

The market is also prone to change, everything twists, shifts, and moves – it’s a time of progress and technology.

The development of an open system requires a set of skills, interpersonal and technical. The idea is to foster peace and prosperity by being able to look beyond the superficial contrasts among the people. With this in mind, you can dive right into it.

Don’t be deceived that you cannot practice mindfulness, some techniques and methods can give you the edge regardless of the situation.

You need to combine both formal training and experience to gain the advantage. No one denies the fact – studying is helpful, but without proper inner abilities, this whole process would be meaningless. There are five levels that you need to pass in order to master the technique of cultural intelligence:

    • Try to foresee any unpredictable behavior from a “cultural” representative: – The reality is that you’ll definitely encounter “stubborn” individuals who use traditional norms and principles as the starting point in any discussion, argument or deal. It’s an evaluation tool, for moral immoral, right or wrong, black or white, etc.
    • The acceptance of other norms and ideas – Every once in a while, we question our beliefs and opinions, and analyze many others. It’s the same logic here; curiosity is the solution for ethical or cultural impatience. Ask for guidance from other individuals, and try to interpret their perspective – don’t be judgemental all the time.
    • Adapting to a different culture – In spite of all the differences, you are now ready to take the next step which involves the implementation of some basic rules that are typical for some culture. Obviously, it requires a substantial amount of effort to gain mastery in this new “project.”
    • Straightforward assimilation – Instead of adopting a rigid behavior, proficient individuals learn how to behave in various environments – an attitude acceptable in a particular culture. A great way to operate without any social restrictions or discomfort.
  • The broad perspective – Now, you can act accordingly to any given situation, and be one step ahead of your associates, because you’ve mastered the technique to interpret subtle signs such as facial expressions, body language, nuances – all typical for a certain culture.

Key Lessons from “Cultural Intelligence”

1.      The simplicity of cultural intelligence
2.      Beyond the shallow perspective
3.      Consider all factors before you draw a conclusion

The simplicity of cultural intelligence

Cultural intelligence is nothing complex to understand. The authors imply that the only way to surpass your yearly or monthly expectations is to change your mentality. This book is a great way to start because it provokes you subtly, and this process will ultimately result in a shift.

Otherwise, you’ll end up stuck in meaningless concepts, not courageous enough to get out of your comfort zone.

Beyond the shallow perspective

Take what you can from other cultures, absorb whatever feels worthy – that’s the kind of spirit you should cherish. All cultures have its pros and cons, learn how to distinguish the differences between these two extremes.

Consider all factors before you draw a conclusion

Mindfulness is the essence of understanding various environments and the risk they carry. Despite the broad perception, you also need to have insights on their expectations, opinions, beliefs, assumptions, and thoughts.

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“Cultural Intelligence” Quotes

Once people are in teams and expected to work collaboratively...it becomes impossible for the manager to try to handle multiculturalism by dealing with each employee individually according to his or her own cultural needs. Click To Tweet Can Western managers be sure that the rational way of thinking in which they are indoctrinated...is always the best basis for decision making? We think not!! Click To Tweet To develop cultural intelligence, you need...to suspend cultural cruise control and to develop an alternative state of being called mindfulness. Click To Tweet The development of cultural intelligence goes through...stages ranging from simply reacting to external stimuli to proactively adjusting behavior in anticipation of subtle changes in the cultural context. Click To Tweet Virtually all business decisions have an ethical component because some stakeholders benefit and others do not. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We can say that this is a comprehensive overview of cultural competence which outlines the fundamental challenges an international manager would encounter.

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