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Knowledge for business

CQ knowledge: business is the degree you understand the various economic, legal, and educational systems that exist around the world. This business knowledge is not just for people in the field of business. Business knowledge can assist us to understand some of the attitudes, beliefs, and values of diverse others.

If you have a high CQ knowledge: business score, you may have a good grasp of the various systems that exist in different cultures. A low CQ business score suggests your understanding of cultural diversity is limited.

You can improve your CQ business knowledge by studying a culture especially if you are up close and in the culture. For example, carefully watch the people in the different culture. Go to a marketplace and discreetly observe how people interact with family members, strangers, customers, adults, children, foreigners, and others. What do you notice about communication styles, body language, touching, gestures, eye contact, greetings, saying goodbye, and etc?

If you are not able to travel then attend a cultural celebration in your community. Attend a religious festival or national holiday. My wife’s family is from Stavanger, Norway. Every year with other Norwegian immigrant families, we attend Syttende Mai or the Norwegian Constitution Day local celebration in West Lafayette, Indiana, United States. We eat Norwegian food, sing Norwegian songs, and laugh at Norwegian humor. I even discovered an ancestor of mine who lived in Norway’s Oppland during the times of the Vikings. Perhaps a few of my Irish ancestors were carried back to Norway as captives.

A third option is to visit a local ethnic grocery store. Look at what is on the shelves. What is not on the shelves. How are the products sold? How are items displayed? You can also visit grocery stores and markets when traveling abroad. Compare and contrast the differences and similarities between your own culture and a different culture.

Food and eating are insightful ways to study culture and diversity. Why do you see many places to sit and eat at the table in one culture and only a few seats per table in another culture? Is the food authentic or an adaptation? Are there meanings behind the entrees served? Should you eat all your food or leave some in the dish? Do you eat with utensils or your hands? Right or left hand? Do you sit on the floor or in a chair? Who sits where? Who eats first? Eat with someone from that culture and ask questions.

Consider the art of the culture. What art is on display in galleries and museums? What art do you see displayed in public places, parks, businesses and eating places? What does the architecture of the buildings tell you? How is the city designed and organized? The Plaza de las Tres Culturas or the Plaza of Three Cultures in Mexico City provides insight into the Aztec, Spanish, and modern Mexican cultures.

Conducting internet searches provides information on anything and everything. You can very quickly and easily study a country and or culture using Google. Using international online resources enhances global consciousness.

All of the above are opportunities to increase CQ knowledge: business. Which of these will work for you? Recall one you are doing now or experienced when traveling. Share your story in discussion and converse with others. Mark this step complete.

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Develop Your Cultural Intelligence

Purdue University

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