Why modern leaders need to be culturally intelligent

Group of business leaders in a meeting

Succeeding in a culturally diverse business environment relies on understanding the behaviours, values, biases and communication styles of colleagues and clients from many different backgrounds.

In today’s international business landscape, your level of cultural intelligence (CQ) can determine your success in effectively negotiating with people from diverse nationalities, ethnicities, organisations, and generations.

Bypassing your own cultural lens and resetting your focus to understand the subtle meanings behind gestures, tone of voice and timeframes is key.

How to increase your CQ

Cultural intelligence is a globally recognised concept and is fast becoming a skill that sets professionals apart.

But cultural intelligence is not about being an expert on specific cultures and their social etiquette – that’s cultural knowledge.

CQ goes beyond ‘cultural awareness’. Simply understanding cultural differences does not mean you’re able to navigate them in the workplace. And CQ is not ‘common sense’.

Professionals can increase their CQ by enrolling in PACE’s ‘Introduction to Cultural Intelligence’ online course, on the FutureLearn platform.

Is this course for you?

This course is for professionals who want to avoid misinterpretation and increase success of negotiations and positive partnerships in culturally diverse settings.

It also caters to those wanting to increase their skills in managing a diverse team in the workplace or pursue international opportunities for their organisation.

The online course is self-guided and can be completed at your own pace, so you can study wherever and whenever it suits – ideal for busy professionals.

Then, when you’ve finished the course, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned and improve how you work with colleagues and clients from different cultures.

What does the course cover?

Explore cultural tendencies

In this course, you will unpack the cultural behavioural trends of people in world cultures using theories developed by leading academics.

Understand managed time versus flexible time

By investigating attitudes towards time and how these can be interpreted in different cultural contexts, you’ll gain insights into the motivation of your international clients and associates.

You’ll learn to predict behaviour in the workplace by exploring ways to establish trust, how to develop cross-cultural relationships and how perceptions of authority and hierarchy can influence performance.

Explore individualism versus collectivism

Understanding human behaviour through the lens of individualism and collectivism helps to explain and pre-empt behaviours in a professional environment.

Exploring direct and indirect communication styles highlights the implications for the way conversations and negotiations are approached in the workplace.

What will you achieve?

Introduction to Cultural Intelligence gives you the opportunity to identify and reflect on your own (un)conscious biases and how they’re impacting your interactions in culturally diverse contexts.

You’ll learn to apply effective verbal and non-verbal communication to enhance your success in culturally diverse environments. You will develop the skills to interpret human behaviours by understanding culturally diverse attitudes and motivations in the workplace.

How do I enrol?

Enrolment is via the FutureLearn website and the course can be completed from as little as $38.

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