Skip main navigation

My Cultural Intelligence grew most when…

Watch Thomas Sherborne, a student from Columbia University, discuss how he has grown his Cultural Intelligence
When did I grow my Cultural Intelligence? So I come from a mixed race background. But I am fundamentally British because that is where I have been born and raised. However, half of my family are very, very ingrained in the culture which they come from, which is India. Very traditional, they have lots of traditions and lots of customs, which I do not reject but I do not understand because it is not the culture I am from. It is not the way that I do things because my experience of the world has been different to their experience of the world. But at the same time, they are my family. And I love them.
So I have been growing my Cultural Intelligence I think unconsciously for as long as I’ve known that I am not 100% British, because half my family comes from the other side of the world. There’s been many things which I struggle with to understand because of how my family does things and how they live their lives in ways that I don’t live my life. An example I would give you is arranged marriage. It’s not something that I have ever known to be a part of my culture or part of myself because it’s not something that I came face-to-face with for many, many years inside my own family.
But the Cultural Intelligence aspect of me is what is telling me that I do not reject my family or these people who do these things that are part of their culture because I don’t understand it. It’s telling me that they are who they are. And this is what they do. And this is how we operate together.
Thomas Sherborne is a student from Columbia University who has completed one of Common Purpose’s Global Leader Experiences courses. Here he discusses how he has grown his Cultural Intelligence and the struggles he has to overcome in doing so.
This article is from the free online

Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education