Is knowing how to interact in the global world a “nice to have” skill?

Forbes Magazine, in 2017, wrote that “Culture is the hottest topic in business today. The way to promote, change, manage and retain cultural understanding is a top issue in most global organizations.”

Your success in the global business world depends on how well you understand the cultural differences and your ability to acquire communication skills in order to bridge these gaps.

That said many Israeli organizations still look upon cultural awareness skills as a “nice to have; ” they have not fully internalized the importance of training their employees, managers, and teams to become culturally knowledgeable and thus enabling them to identify when there is a cultural issue on the table and to be able to, in real time, adapt to the situation while putting in motion cultural agility skills.

Cultural Intelligence goes beyond awareness of oneself and of others. We all understand that doing business in Russia will be distinctly different than doing business in China, but do we understand how these differences reveal themselves?  Do we understand that in addition to profound differences there are also subtle differences such as between Singapore and China?

CQ is not the capability for effectiveness in any particular culture. It is instead a unifying approach to intercultural competency that helps anyone adapt to and function in any cultural setting.

Cultural Intelligence (CQ) impacts every single aspect of a business transaction, including but not limited to communication styles of various countries, decision making, negotiation tactics, leadership styles, project management and building successful business relationships.

CQ is the ability to work and lead people who are not like you.

Having CQ skills will enable you to:

  • Understand different cultures
  • Adapt and lead sensibly and efficiently in a culturally aware manner
  • Connect, collaborate and bring out the best in your multi-cultural teams and customers.
  • Sustain a thriving organizational culture embodying an awareness of self and others.

Inter-cultural training as it was conducted in the 20th century with many defined definitions of cultures, and of “do’s & don’ts” in today’s post-global world is not enough. Today, organizations require global skills training which will enable to work in multi-cultural environments in a world that is constantly changing and culturally challenging.

89% of Fortune 500 organizations have included in their work plans cultural awareness and behavioral models training. So if you are, or strive to be, a Fortune 500 company, cultural intelligence is a MUST HAVE!

About the Author
Arona Maskil is a Cross-cultural consultant. She has over 20 years of experience and has presented nationally and internationally on inter-culturally related subjects. Based in Israel, she is a leading expert on both U.S. and Israeli business culture and as such, facilitates workshops and lectures on cross-cultural understanding of working and living cross-border. Arona has spearheaded in Israel a "Cultural Intelligence" (CQ) training model whereby she provides strategically focused training for individuals and organizations to enable effective communications to navigate successfully in global business settings. Arona Maskil has a Bachelors (B.A.) degree in Communications and Public Relations from State University of New York and a Master’s (M.A.) with honors from the College of Management, Academic Studies, the Department of Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Family Studies. She is also an Adler Institute certified coach and a group coach facilitator.
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