Our CQ drive or motivation is composed of three parts. The first part we will examine is intrinsic interest. This means you enjoy being around diverse others. You have fun interacting with people from other cultures. You appreciate experiencing different foreign places including the food, sights, sounds, and smells.
You simply derive enjoyment from culturally diverse experiences and people. The extent to which you demonstrate a natural interest and enjoyment in multicultural and diverse experiences is the measure of your intrinsic interest or drive. Are you energized to explore new cultures and places?
If you wish to improve your intrinsic interest or CQ drive you might consider three steps. The first step is to face your biases. Are there cultures to which you are naturally drawn? Which ones make you uncomfortable?
We have students at Purdue University who come from a western European ethnicity who readily do study abroad to a western European location. Some of these same students hesitate to go to another part of the world that is very different from Anglo countries. It is natural to seek sameness and to be comfortable in a place and culture that feels “normal” to us. But if we wish to develop cultural intelligence we need self-awareness of the biases we harbor so we can address diversities.
The second step to develop an intrinsic interest in diversity is to connect diversity to existing interests. Think of a hobby or interest you have and then connect it to a cross-cultural interest. Maybe this is music, art, exercise, cooking, photography, sports, and etc.
I shared with you that I completed a few 26.2-mile marathons in my life. I began jogging in college and continue doing it today. As a result, I jogged in the Middle East, the Philippines, and China to name a few diverse places. Some people love experiencing the food of different cultures. We send Purdue students to study wine in different cultures. Experience your interests in a diverse culture to develop intrinsic motivation.
The third step is to get outside of your comfort zone. Be willing to scare yourself a little bit. We are not suggesting you do anything dangerous or potentially harmful but stretch your boundaries. Be willing to visit places where no one speaks a language you know. Try navigating the public transportation system. I can honestly share my first experience on a subway train in China was confusing and a bit unsettling. Arguing in an Asian or a Middle East marketplace with a store owner over the price of a purse is very different and maybe outside the norm for some of us.
Which steps might you take to improve your CQ Drive?