Subject: Centre Quarterly

Centre Quarterly 
a newsletter update on
strengthening effectiveness across
the borders of culture
in a borderless world
February 2019
Stop focusing on cultural differences!
Well, not completely. Let me explain.
With traditional approaches to building cross-cultural skills, a lot of time is spent on building bridges across the valley of cultural differences. While building bridges has importance, those spans being built typically rely heavily on cultural knowledge. Sometimes, it may feel like cultural knowledge is the only thing used as the foundation to strengthening multicultural competencies.  
What's the problem?
There is a growing body of research suggesting it would be better to not teach cultural differences at all if that's the only thing you're going to do.  

Multiple studies have found that only talking about cultural differences leads to stereotyping and on-going bias, rather than building up your cultural intelligence. 
Why is that?
Simply put, we're human. 

Once a person learns characteristics about a certain cultural group, there's an instinct to start putting any member of that cultural group into the same box. The result from this is people tend to rush to judgment, which is stereotyping, rather than holding back on judgment until you can understand more about a certain situation. Judgment before understanding is perhaps the largest sabotage to cross-cultural effectiveness.

Also, human tendencies as they are, once a person gets some insight into a cultural group, they may end up being over-confident about their ability to understand others. It may actually be better to remain open-minded and culturally ignorant than to carry this feeling that "you get them". Not always carrying some level of cultural humility is just arrogance.

Then, what you think is important is interesting, but seeking out how the other person feels about things is the more fascinating key to effectiveness. However, the human challenge is that neuro-science studies demonstrate that people tend to pay less attention to information that contradicts with their pre-existing beliefs (which is their biases), and also that their brains "shut off" when a belief or action they are committed to has been challenged. It's hard to receive input from others when you're powered down. 

Cultural knowledge by itself rarely solves anything.

Centre for Leadership Effectiveness LLC
Dedicated to strengthening performance of individuals, teams, and organizations through building deeper competencies to reconcile dilemmas faced in our culturally complex world for the following contexts:
cross-cultural operations of public, private  & non-profit organizations
domestic & international Christian multicultural ministries
Frank Zauflik MA, MBA
Executive Director
Frank has an unique combinattion of for-profit, not-for-profit & faith-based professional experiences, advanced academics & certifications, with 
extensive trans-national living.
Building up your return on investment through integrating research based Cultural Intelligence (CQ) &  Everything DiSC Personality assessments + training + coaching + consulting to leverage your soft skills into hard results.
CQ is a helper
Cultural intelligence (also called CQ) is described as the ability to be effective across various cultural contexts. 

Research based CQ assessments applies to international contexts (preparing expats for overseas assignments, study abroad programs, helping global teams, etc.). It also applies to domestic contexts (multicultural teams, unconscious bias training, etc.). 

CQ can even be used to predict how individuals will function across other types of culture such as those based on generational differences, race & ethnicity, different faiths, gender, organizational culture, functional or professional cultures, and more. 

There are four major dimensions that are evaluated through CQ assessment:
CQ predicts individual or group adaptive performance. But no one CQ capability leads to adaptive performance, and particularly not CQ Knowledge.

All four CQ dimensions are needed. Otherwise, you end up with a weak approach to effectiveness across the boundaries of cultures in a borderless world.

Sample CQ feedback reports are available upon request. 

Send an email if you are interested in sample reports or other discussions.
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