Cultural competence is an umbrella term used to refer to one’s ability to understand, appreciate and interact with people from differing cultural backgrounds. There are more than 30 cultural competence models globally which include more than 300 concepts ranging from personal characteristics(extrovert versus introvert) to attitudes and beliefs.
Did you know that CQ = IQ + EQ?
Combiningourintelligence quotient, IQ with your emotional intelligence, EQ results in cultural intelligence, CQ and enables us to thrive in multiple cultures. IQ is your ability to think and reason, however having the knowledge is not enough; IQ needs to be combined with EQ, emotional intelligence so that the knowledge can be applied in any circumstance. A person with high EQ grasps what makes us human and at the same time what makes each of us different–the ability to detect and regulate the emotions of one’s self and others.
A person with high CQ can somehow tease out a person’s or group behaviour, those features that would be true of all people and all groups, those peculiar to this person or this group, and those that are neither universal nor idiosyncratic. The vast realm that lies between those two poles is culture.
One critical element that cultural intelligence and emotional intelligence do share is, in psychologist Daniel Goleman’s words, “a propensity to suspend judgment—to think before acting. ”For someone richly endowed with CQ, the suspension might take hours or days, while someone with low CQ might have to take weeks or months. In either case, it involves using your senses to register all the ways that the personalities interacting in front of you are different from those in your home culture yet similar to one another. Understanding this, enables you to assimilate in and with any community, wherever that may be.