Why Should You Care About Cultural Intelligence?

Social intelligence, cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, practical intelligence, creative intelligence, cultural intelligence. You almost need an intelligence to understand all these intelligences! And they all sound the same. 

Well, in that order, here are the definitions:

  • Social Intelligence (SQ): Understand and manage other people
  • Cognitive Intelligence (IQ): Measure an individual’s cognitive capabilities
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ): Detect and regulate the emotions of one’s self and others
  • Practical Intelligence (PQ): Solve practical problems as opposed to academic, theoretical ones
  • Creative Intelligence: Go beyond existing facilities to create novel and interesting ideas
  • Cultural Intelligence (CQ): Function effectively across a variety of cultural contexts

There’s definitely overlap between the intelligences and each has its strengths. But the common characteristics about them are that you can test them, improve on them, and they’re applicable across the world.

If you had to choose ONE to build on,  which would you choose? And why would you choose cultural intelligence? Why care about other cultures at all? Here’s an intriguing video to really see the statistics:

With an increasingly globalizing and growing world and workforce, cultural intelligence may be the competitive advantage you are looking for. Research shows that in a business setting, CQ leads to the following outcomes:

  • More effective performance
  • Less fatigue and burnout
  • Increased profitability and cost-savings
  • Better decision-making
  • Increased creativity and innovation

What do you think?


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