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This content is taken from the Common Purpose's online course, Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Most people assume that you get Cultural Intelligence by going out and talking to people, and discovering other people. And I will acquire Cultural Intelligence by understanding you, by having courageous conversation, by having deep conversations, by talking about pasts, presents, and future, or whatever it is. And in so doing I’ll discover your culture, and that that is the secret to Cultural Intelligence. I think the more I’ve worked in this field, the more I’ve really become key that though that is important, really in the end the most difficult culture that you’re going to have to crack if you’re going to become Culturally intelligent is actually your own.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 seconds That’s the most difficult culture of all. Where does my own culture add enormous value? Where does my culture give me blind spots? What are my views that are based on facts? What are my views the are based on I’m not sure what? What is based on judgement ? What’s on prejudgment? Where does it give me biases? Where does it give me strengths? Where does my own culture give me stumbling blocks or prevent me from understanding or even hearing what you’re saying? So I think a lot of Cultural Intelligence actually comes from understanding your own culture. But of course it’s all circular.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 seconds It comes from getting out there and talking to people, and making sure that you reveal things about other people but also about yourself in your responses to it.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds The Cultural Intelligence muscle is like all muscles. If they dodn’t get used, they get flabby or they get rather bully-like. Actually there’s nothing to do more than to get out there and talk to people and have those conversations. So as you progress, get out there. Go and find somebody who is 25 years younger than you, or 25 years older than you, or from the other side of the world, or from the other side of your city, or works in a sector that’s an absolute mystery to you. Get out there. Have those conversations, and tell us how they go.

The Cultural Intelligence muscle

Cultural Intelligence is a muscle. Like all muscles it needs to be exercised.

What are you going to do to exercise the Cultural Intelligence muscle?

Next week we will begin to look at ways in which we can find our Core, how biases can impact developing Cultural Intelligence, and the barriers we will face as we go out and start to build our Cultural Intelligence over time.

See you all next week.

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This video is from the free online course:

Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership

Common Purpose