Page 83 - Cormorant 2019
P. 83

 to behave’?. But CQ research shows that effective cultural training offers more than a list of do’s and don’ts specific to a particular culture. Rather, good cross-cultural education enables an understanding of how culture works in general. This includes everything from understanding different types of leadership models and power dynamics around the world, to learning how to recognise gender norms and the impact this has on communication within a particular cultural environment.
CQ Strategy: If CQ knowledge is the cognitive dimension of Cultural Intelligence, CQ strategy is the metacognitive dimension. This entails an ability to essentially slow down the cross-cultural encounter
– stepping back from the immediate to plan an appropriate strategy, check your expectations, observe what’s going on, and revise your strategy where required. CQ strategy then is the linchpin between understanding the norms of another culture and actually being able to adapt your behaviour appropriately to suit that environment.
CQ Action: This is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak, as there’s no use having all the knowledge and plans in the world if you can’t put them into action. At the core of CQ Action lies behavioural flexibility: the ability to effectively change your
verbal and non-verbal behaviours to appropriately reflect a different cultural environment. This means becoming comfortable with new levels and forms of eye contact, physical proximity, and gestures, as well as new vocabulary and expressions, different use of verbal pace, accent, tone and volume, and even new languages. Studies show that even when communicants share a common verbal language, misuse of paralanguage and body language can suggest disrespect, dishonesty or incompetence, which is why it’s important to practice your cross- cultural communication skills (Pennycook, 1985),
Sharing food is a great way to share our cultures - as the Defence Academy’s Friends and Families Society’s ‘‘Bring A Dish’ nights show.
even if it feels strange or uncomfortable (Stringer
and Cassiday, 2009). But at the same time, a
key component of effective CQ Action is knowing when to adapt your behaviour, and when not to. Sometimes holding true to your own cultural norms can be more effective, and authentic, than adapting your style to another person’s cultural frames – and a culturally intelligent person is able to sense this.
CQ Drive: Last, but definitely not least, cultural intelligence requires the interest, drive and confidence to adapt to a new cultural environment and work through the challenges it might present. Culture shock is a well-recognised part of the cross-cultural experience of global travellers, expats and military personnel (Azari et al., 2010; Ward et al., 2005).
But with higher levels of CQ drive, the culturally intelligent person is better placed to grapple with the discomforts that living in or working with a foreign culture can bring. Whether this CQ Drive comes from intrinsic interest (a sense of pleasure or fulfilment generated by the cross-cultural experience), extrinsic interest (a perception that cross-cultural experience will bring material rewards, such as promotion), or a sense of cross-cultural self-efficacy (the enjoyment
of feeling competent at cross-cultural encounters), research has shown that CQ drive is the most important factor in enabling individuals to adjust to and thrive in new cultural environments (Rockstuhl and Van Dyne, 2018). In this way, CQ drive is literally the powerhouse that drives the rest of the CQ cycle.
CQ and ACSC?
Okay... but what does all this have to do with us, you might be wondering?
At the heart of the CQ construct is the recognition that Cultural Intelligence is a learned skillset – one that can be strengthened over time, with practice. And I would contend that this practice is an important part of what we’ve all been doing over the course of the last year on the Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC).
   At the heart
of the CQ construct is the
recognition that Cultural Intelligence is a learned skillset... ◆◆◆

   81   82   83   84   85