Over the past couple of decades, the concepts of Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Intelligence have been gaining both understanding and traction. It has become clear in management study that managers who deal with people must understand the concept of emotional intelligence. That is, our decisions and actions have an emotional component, and when the emotion we elicit from our actions is negative, the overall response from the employee will be negative. We must respect the emotional reactions that our decisions have. Doing so enables us to approach people differently, to respect them more fully, and to build their skills proactively. To ignore emotional issues is to deny growth and prosperity in our employees, and therefore in our businesses.
Cultural Intelligence studies take the concept of emotional intelligence further. Rather than studying one brain’s reactions, multiple brains are recognized as being in play. Cultural Intelligence suggests that if we are able to not only cope within a new culture, but thrive, we are culturally intelligent. We not only adapt, but we understand. We not only tolerate, but actively participate and do so successfully.
Often we think of cultures as being other countries, or people raised apart from our own culture. We all belong to multiple cultures simultaneously. Our work, our family, our gender, our religion, our neighborhoods, our communities – all have their own unique cultures. Learning to see life through the lens of the other person or persons within a culture enables us to understand, but be compassionate, to be empathetic, and to successfully navigate through the sensitivities toward a successful outcome…IF WE WILL.
Success with others is always optional. Intelligent success takes work, some study, and much practice. If we will do it, we increase our chances of long-term success in every aspect of our lives. It is worth consideration.