diverse group of professionals smiling

Extrinsic drive

CQ drive: extrinsic interest is motivation based on gaining benefits from different cultural experiences. Tangible rewards come by demonstrating CQ drive.

Motivation by extrinsic interest means that a person thinks or realizes that multicultural work potentially accelerates his or her success. For example, an engineer believes spending time developing cultural intelligence or intercultural competency will help in securing an engineering position or assist in leading a diverse team.

A person with low CQ drive: extrinsic interest does not consider external benefits to intercultural or diversity experiences. We see this at Purdue University when students comment that they do not need to develop cultural intelligence or intercultural competency because they plan to graduate and to go back home to a small town in a rural area. These students are very short-sighted in that they do not realize the extent everyone is impacted by diversity and globalization.

There are three steps to increasing your CQ drive: extrinsic interest. The first one is to visualize your success. Envision how improving your cultural intelligence will help you land a better job. How will understanding diversity help you be more innovative? Can you increase your income or make more money if you increased your intercultural competency? If your cultural intelligence were higher, would you be able to develop new friendships with people different from you? Would you be a better leader or manager if you improved your CQ?

The second step in increasing your extrinsic interest is to reward yourself as you improve your CQ. If your goal is to learn another language, reward yourself with a Mexican meal at a restaurant where you can order in Spanish. The core of developing cultural intelligence is a love of learning. Creating rewards motivates us to meet our learning goals leading to increased cultural intelligence.

Recharging your batteries is the third step in building CD drive: extrinsic interest. Diversity work is exhausting. Even people with high CQ are easily wearied by working outside of familiar contexts. Get your sleep and exercise. Eat healthy. Play golf. Enjoy a hobby. Read a good book. When traveling you may wish to actually reward yourself and relax by eating something familiar. For me, that means eating a hamburger if I can find one. Please enjoy the food from a different culture but once in a while it is relaxing and reduces stress to experience some food from home.

Now take some time and reflect on which of these three steps you might implement to increase your extrinsic motivation to develop intercultural competency.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Develop Your Cultural Intelligence

Purdue University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: