Page 84 - Cormorant 2019
P. 84

  Let’s break this down for a moment:
Every time you’ve adapted your behaviour to match that of your foreign colleague, you’ve been building your CQ Action skills. And each time you’ve reflected on the best way to approach a counterpart from an unfamiliar culture, you’ve been enhancing your CQ Strategy skills. When your fellow syndicate members gave you feedback on how best to moderate your behaviour to match the perplexing style of a particular student or DS, they too were enhancing your
CQ Strategy and CQ Action skills. And when you reflected on what this might mean for how respect
or status is shown in your counterpart’s culture,
you were strengthening your CQ Knowledge. And, most importantly, every time you found pleasure in the taste of a new family’s food, or enjoyment in the symbolism of a new friend’s stories, you were stoking the fires of your CQ Drive – in turn, re-energising your capacity to build your Cultural Intelligence overall.
Yeah. So What?
Sure. So this is all very nice, some might say, but
I wasn’t sent to ACSC to build warm memories
and cosy connections. I was sent to hone my intellectual edge – to transition from the kind of skills that got me to this stage in my career, to become the kind of officer that will be able to make quality strategic decisions under high pressure in complex environments. So, what does all this ‘culture’ business have to do with me?
Here’s where we get to the exciting bit. Because CQ research shows that Cultural Intelligence is not just about ‘warm and fuzzy’ cultural sensitivity. No – this is a performance-enhancing capability, one which has been shown to relate to a host of cross-cultural performance outcomes (Ang and Van Dyne, 2015; Rockstuhl and Van Dyne, 2018).
So, every time you’re building your CQ Knowledge, you’re enhancing your ability to make high quality decisions and build trust in a cross-cultural environment – whether this involves national cultural distinctions or the complexities that arise when relating to people from different sub-cultures.
Similarly, when you’re strengthening your CQ strategy, you’re enhancing your capacity to be effective in cross-cultural negotiations and when working collaboratively with others. When you’re practicing your CQ Action, you’re increasing the chance of building rapport and trust in culturally diverse environments. And when you’re finding enjoyment in new cultural tastes, sounds, smells
and concepts, you’re adding fuel to the fire that powers your ability to achieve all of this. What’s more, by building your CQ Drive, you’re reducing the chance that you’ll hit fatigue and burnout in your next deployment or defence engagement activity, and increasing the energy and enthusiasm you’ll be able to bring to the mission.
This isn’t to suggest that all military personnel should build their cross-cultural skills simply in order to become more effective in achieving their future missions – such an interpretation would ignore the fundamental role that interest and motivation play
in helping us become better at connecting with and understanding others.
But if you’ve found enjoyment in the cross-cultural interactions you’ve had this year, I’d suggest you’re already on the path to a strong CQ future. And if you’ve recognised the benefits that international contacts may have for your future career, you’re also on your way to stronger a cross-cultural skillset. Because, just like a muscle, CQ only gets stronger with practice.
So, rather than see ACSC 22 as a one-year
sprint, let’s take the amazing year of cross-cultural experience we’ve been given and mark this as part of a lifetime of cross-cultural capacity-building. Each and every one of us, no matter where we stand today, can build and improve our CQ – with focus, determination, and the support of our cross-cultural peers and mentors.
So, come on Cormorants – let’s get out there!!
Ang, S., Van Dyne, L., 2015. Handbook of Cultural Intelligence: Theory, Measurement, and Applications. Routledge.
Azari, J., Dandeker, C., Greenberg, N. 2010. Cultural Stress: How Interactions With and Among Foreign Populations Affect Military Personnel. Armed Forces & Society. 36(4), 585-603.
Earley, P.C., Ang, S., 2003. Cultural Intelligence: Individual Interactions Across Cultures. Stanford University Press.
Goleman, D., 2009. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. A&C Black.
Livermore, D., 2015. Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The Real Secret to Success. AMACOM.
Pennycook, A., 1985. Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Paralanguage, Communication, and Education. TESOL Quarterly. 19, 259-282.
Rockstuhl, T., Van Dyne, L., 2018. A bi-factor theory of the four-factor model of cultural intelligence: Meta- analysis and theoretical extensions. Organisational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 148, 124–144.
Stringer, D.M., Cassiday, P.A., 2009. 52 Activities for Improving Cross-Cultural Communication. Hachette UK.
Ward, C., Bochner, S., Furnham, A., 2005. The Psychology of Culture Shock. Routledge.
just like a muscle, CQ only
gets stronger with practice. ◆◆◆

   82   83   84   85   86