Did you ever wonder why some people seem to attract friends, business opportunities and seem to exude confidence even in unfamiliar situations? What’s their secret to success? Well, part of it has to do with their “default” or Cultural Intelligence. In the past we use to measure someone’s IQ and use it as a predictor of success in everything from educational achievements to financial success or notoriety in their field of choice. But, as David Livermore recently stated in his BBC interview this month, “The number one predictor of your success in today’s borderless world is not your IQ, not your resume, and not even your expertise”.  Cultural Intelligence it seems can give you an edge over anyone’s IQ, and quite frankly opens doors and windows to places you couldn’t image without it. Did you ever here the saying “You don’t know what you don’t know”? Well, that’s a bit like cultural intelligence. You can’t benefit from someone’s perspective if you can’t see it.

“Having the right knowledge, drive and openness towards other perspectives, an aversion to the trap of “group think” all contribute to creating an environment where everyone is valued, and new ideas and innovation is encouraged”, says Nasif Kayed, founder and CEO of The Arab Culturalist.

So, What’s Your Default?

Many people believe that simply respecting other points of view and cultures = Cultural Intelligence. But it takes more than respect to feel confident in multi-cultural environments, and even more to be able to see other perspectives as equal or for that matter better. Knowledge is key, second only to what you do with the knowledge. Do you use it to modify your behavior, or do you use it as a measure differences and barriers to connecting?

For instance, when encountering something new or different is your default to:

  • Be suspicious or curious
  • Be critical or suspend judgement
  • Contrast or compare
  • Ignore or find out more

By asking yourself some basic questions, you can begin your journey to improve your Cultural Intelligence and inter-cultural communication skills.  In our borderless world, cultural understand and awareness benefits you just as much as it connects people, encourages diversity and inclusion, and leads to innovation.  What’s your default?

The Arab Culturalist has developed a one of a kind workshop, which will be held on November 22nd in Abu Dhabi and December 6th in Dubai,  which is just the beginning of your journey to build you cultural intelligence.  Register Our programs  span a period of 25 years, teaching and advising businesses, government entities, community groups, law enforcement and students, in the US and Middle East on how they can create working and living environments that are inclusive and promote successful collaboration across cultures. Contact us to find out more at info@thearabculturalist.com

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