Sometimes it’s all about your perspective. Cultural intelligence is about being able to adapt (not adopt) to new cultures no matter what comes your way. It’s essentially about how fast you can create new glasses in order to effectively understand and work with a culture unfamiliar to you. How fast are you at getting new glasses on? Metaphorically speaking of course
Culture is an exciting topic for me. This is because I am always fascinated with how some people identify with a culture different than their ethnic culture. In some circumstances, the best answer is to identify yourself as a citizen of the world.
One of the first things we realize when talking to a person of a different ethnic culture is that they communicate differently than you do. Some have major hand gestures, others are more reserved, some seem in your face, and some will reach out for a social touch. The styles vary and may well be personality types and individual demeanor, but there are culture-specific communication styles that are helpful to know. Experience will teach you and maximizing on the opportunities can be done with some important points to follow:
Varying cultures find commonality in sports. The impact that this has on our world is enormous, yet I never really appreciated global events like the Olympics. I used to watch them coincidentally and perhaps hear the odd fact about a world record being beaten. But, I didn’t realize the commitment it took for an athlete just to have the honor of attending the famous event.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are dry countries, and I’m not talking about the weather. I mean that these two countries are dry, as in, alcohol-free. It is illegal to have and consume alcohol. Dry countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, certain parts of India, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, parts of the UAE, and Yemen (ref)
To be honest, I never felt the lack of it because my family and I were never really big drinkers. Sleep would overtake my father before he finished a glass of anything alcoholic, and I never really liked the taste. But growing up in dry countries, we always heard of stories about people trying to brew their own beer or wine and getting arrested or having a bar in their home and being popular for it. However, life in these countries never seemed different or odd because of that (ask me about the difference associated with no women drivers in Saudi Arabia – now that’s a difference I’ll talk about in another post!)