How To Boost Cultural Intelligence Amongst Youth and Young Adults

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( — December 14, 2020) — In a global society, communication can be problematic when you travel to other countries and cannot speak their language. Whether you are in your country or somewhere else, it is essential to communicate easily with those around you.

Owing to the importance of culture in communications, some scientists are calling Cultural quotients (CQ) the new intelligence quotient (IQ). They believe that CQ is crucial for professional success, more so than IQ.

Christopher Early, the dean of Krannert Management School at Purdue University, alongside Soon Ang, a Nanyang Technological University Professor in Singapore, both came about the concept of CQ in 2003. 

According to them, CQ measures a person’s ability to interpret unfamiliar cultural signs and work efficiently in cultural contexts.

As the business grew beyond borders in the late 20th century, CQ is no longer optional but an essential talent to survive in the 21st century.

Following the definition by the two researchers, others have carried out tests to calculate and improve CQ, with over 100 reviewed and published students. CQ goes beyond cultural sensitivity and spans into the ability to accomplish goals and deal respectfully in culturally diverse environments.

Nowadays there are available amazing cross-cultural programs for youth and young adults that provide coaching and grooming about social values, inner growth and appreciation of life. The main goal of these programs is to help the participants to improve their academic achievements and to be more integrated in the global world. 

Four Factors involved in Cultural Quotient 

  1. Meta-cognitive: The ability to mentally learn and comprehend cultural information. 

  2. Cognitive: Gaining actual knowledge about several cultures, their similarities, and differences. 

  3. Behavioral factors: The ability to adapt positively to cultural communications and interactions.

  4. Motivation: An interest in learning and engaging in culturally diverse relations and assurance of your ability to do well at them.

Guidelines to Cultural Intelligence

To improve your cultural intelligence at any given time, pay attention to these tips.

  1. Start With a Positive Intent: 

Try not to respond to a person’s behavior with the assumption that they are acting rude, as their actions might be coming from a different cultural standing. Bear in mind that people outside your cultural sphere might also misinterpret your actions. 

  1. Always seek information before judging:

Go the extra mile to find out the reason behind a person’s behavior. Most actions make sense when you understand the reason behind them.

  1. Be Prepared:

Prepare for awkward situations you will likely face because of cultural interaction. Learn from previous experiences and handle new encounters better.

  1. Stay True to Yourself, but be flexible:

Learn how to present yourself differently to suit different cultural environments. Dress and act to suit these environments, but don’t lose yourself in the process. Balance is critical to fit into several cultural interactions and make the best of them.


If you believe and work towards it, you can develop CQ. 

People with little cultural experience can improve their CQ if they have a growth mentality. 

Your belief creates your ability, so if you think you can achieve it, you can indeed grow to improve your cultural quotient.