Peer to Peer Magazine

Winter 2016

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/765798

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20 PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE OF ILTA | WINTER 2016 BEST PRACTICES Tackling Culturally Diverse Situations with Ease It is not enough to be simply "aware" anymore. We must go beyond our own self-awareness and our awareness of others to really understand how we work and interact effectively in culturally diverse situations, whether domestic or global. As law firms and corporate entities operate in an ever-changing, global environment, we need to be prepared to handle any diverse situation. As our workforces become more diverse, we face the challenge of how to successfully manage increasingly diverse interactions. To address this concern, organizations are applying the framework of cultural intelligence, or CQ. What Is Cultural Intelligence? Why are some individuals better able to work across cultures than others? CQ is an individual's ability to adapt and function effectively in new cultural contexts. This includes ethnic, national, generational and organizational cultures. Cultural intelligence is a form of intelligence we all possess, and our cultural intelligence quotient may vary depending on how successful we are when dealing with unfamiliar cultural settings. How Is CQ Measured? The concept of CQ was first introduced by P. Christopher Earley and Soon Ang in 2003 and includes four dimensions: drive, knowledge, strategy and action. Each relates to cultural challenges: » Drive: How motivated are you to work with others in new or unfamiliar cultural seings? Without confidence and motivation, there is a higher rate of failure to succeed in multicultural situations. » Knowledge: How much knowledge do you have of other cultures? Are you aware of both similarities and differences? This cognition is critical for being effective in everyday business interactions. » Strategy: How do you make sense of cultural differences when involved in a situation? This is a metacognition factor for understanding your own judgments and planning accordingly. » Action: Do you modify your behavior to different cultures? This behavioral factor requires one to be flexible with actions and responses, yet remain true to their own character. Research has shown that a combination of these four factors leads to effectiveness in adapting to different cultures. Knowledge alone does not guarantee effective behavior. Being aware is merely the first step — going beyond this awareness is where the strategy and application are critical. "In a world where crossing boundaries is routine, CQ becomes a vitally important aptitude and skill . . ." — P. Christopher Earley and Elaine Mosakowski, Harvard Business Review by Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran Tackling Culturally Diverse Situations with Ease

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