In this second part of our CQ Self-Assessment Pro series, we will discuss the processes involved in debriefing participants after the assessment has been taken. The debriefing session will be conducted by a trained facilitator, whose goal is to help participants fully understand their existing cultural intelligence (CQ) capabilities (drive, knowledge, strategy and action) and to then develop a personalized plan to work on areas requiring improvement.
Firstly, I was shown a one-page snapshot of my CQ scores for the four CQ capabilities. The scaling system consists of 3 color-coded ratings: light grey (LOW – scores in this range are in the bottom 25% of the world wide norms), dark grey (MODERATE – scores in this range are in the middle 50% of the world wide norms) and orange (HIGH – scores in this range are in the top 25% of the world wide norms). In summary, I was able to view how I self-rated my CQ abilities against other global professionals. I scored relatively high for CQ drive, CQ knowledge and CQ strategy but scored a low average on CQ action.
Next, we go into detail about CQ drive and its 3 sub-dimensions. CQ Drive refers to how motivated we are to engage, learn and adapt to new or diverse cultural settings. This can stem from our personal desire to enjoy the uniqueness that culturally diverse experiences can give us or perhaps we have seen the tangible benefits that can be obtained from such events. Having worked under bosses from 6 different nationalities, I personally enjoy working in a multicultural work environment so I felt that my high test scores for wanting to participate in such settings were accurately reflected.
We then discuss CQ Knowledge, which refers to the degree to which we understand how culture influences people’s thinking and behaviour, as well as our familiarity of how cultures are similar or different in certain aspects. My facilitator explained the various factors that can contribute to our repertoire of knowledge and from my results, indicated that I needed to improve on my knowledge of business systems, economics and legal governance. On the other hand, I possessed a good understanding of the different religious beliefs/customs, language and communication norms as well as the management of people across cultures. Once again, I felt the results were quite right in deciphering this aspect of my personality as I have had the pleasure of working closely and managing relationships across various cultures in my career for the past 8 years.
Subsequently, we move on to CQ Strategy which examines whether we think and plan ahead about upcoming interactions. This include steps to determine if there will be more than one culture involved, understand how that would affect the discussion and check if our knowledge about the cultures involved are accurate or not. I was given several tips to improve in this aspect, such as using “If…then…” situations and sketching a brief plan on how a meeting involving various cultures would be different from one involving those of my own culture only. I found this aspect especially relevant because strategizing on the words to use, method of approach and tone of voice based on who my audience is can greatly affect how well my message would be received.
The CQ capability that I need to improve on the most is CQ Action. This aspect combines the previous 3 capabilities and translates them into actions. An individual with high CQ Action will modify the manner and content of their communication, including using effective verbal and non-verbal behaviours. I have to admit I was initially surprised at why my scores for this capability is much lower than what I expected, but then understood the reasons when my facilitator explained the questions that contributed to the scoring of this capability. We spent a longer time exploring what practical steps I could take to improve and I found the activities suggested were very workable, sensible and I was motivated to put all of these into practice immediately.
Further to this, the feedback report includes a detailed development plan to leverage on my strong CQ capabilities as well as improve on my weak CQ capabilities. I was given time to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses as identified by the assessment, whether the assessment was accurate, if my current role allows me to utilize my capabilities effectively, and how making improvements can increase my effectiveness of working in culturally diverse contexts. My homework was to identify two CQ capabilities that I would like to work on for the next 6 months, complete with goals and target dates to track and implement them.
The last part of the debriefing process discusses individual cultural value orientations. Based on research done by Cultural Intelligence Center LLC, countries are grouped into clusters and portrayed on a scale to mark the inclination of those from these countries toward cultural values such as individualism or collectivism, low or high power distance, low or high uncertainty avoidance, cooperative or competitive, short or long term, low context/direct or high context/indirect and being or doing. For a layman, such terms can sound very foreign and unintelligible but thankfully all these terms were explained clearly by the facilitator. What I found most useful and eye-opening was the indication of where I stood in comparison to all the cultural clusters for each of those seven cultural values. Certainly, I really enjoyed the debriefing process and have benefited greatly from the insights I gained, and I will elaborate on this further in the third and final part series in the following blog.
By Boleh Blogger