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What is CQ strategy?

Individuals with high CQ strategy think about diversity and multicultural opportunities and challenges. They demonstrate meta-cognition to identify, explain, and plan for dealing with differences. This meta-cognition means there is self-awareness of your own cultural perspective and awareness of the different meaning-making that diverse others are very likely going to demonstrate.

CQ strategy or meta-cognition requires us to reflect on diverse encounters ahead of time and after they occur. This also involves planning ahead and checking to verify your expectations and assumptions during the cross-cultural experience. After the experience with difference and diversity, we think about and reflect on it. We refine our mental maps and consider potential strategies to improve the interaction. In summary, a high CQ strategy is the degree you are mindful, aware, and able to plan for multicultural experiences.

If we only use CQ knowledge or cognition, there is a risk of stereotyping people. CQ strategy enables us to reflect and revise beyond general and simplified norms. This means not all Americans prefer direct communication and not all Swedes emphasize being overdoing. CQ strategy requires verification, checking, and adapting to exceptions. This requires meta-cognition of self-awareness and awareness of the diverse other.

There are three components to CQ strategy or meta-cognition. These are planning, awareness, and checking. These are the three steps necessary to anticipate and plan appropriately if you wish to consider your own culture and the cultural diversity of the other person. This meta-cognition is thinking about what you are describing to yourself, perceiving how you interpret this description, and finally how do you evaluate your interpretation. Some may call this reflective practice or reflection in action. You may wish to note that individuals who have a preference for gathering information using intuition generally have more practice and dexterity with meta-cognition.

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