Sunday, May 28, 2023
Home » Cultural Competence: A Game Changer in The 21st Century

Cultural Competence: A Game Changer in The 21st Century

by Shain David
0 comment
Cultural Competence: A Game Changer in The 21st Century

However, to get along and succeed in the 21st Century, it takes more than having superb IQ, EQ, and Social Intelligence.

The author of ‘The Cultural Intelligence Difference’ David Livermore wrote, The number one predictor of your success in today’s borderless world is not your IQ, not your resume, and not even your expertise.” He continued, “It’s your CQ (Cultural Intelligence), a powerful capability that is proven to enhance your effectiveness working in culturally diverse situations.”

Sadly, many organizations still depend on IQ, EQ, and Social Intelligence alone when they select supervisors and managers. The author of ‘Cultural Intelligence: CQ: The competitive edge for leaders crossing borders’, Julia Middleton said, Organizations often appoint leaders for their IQ. Then, years later, sack them for their lack of EQ (Emotional Intelligence).” She predicted, “Common Purpose argues that in the future they will promote for CQ – Cultural Intelligence.

Among many parameters used to show the similarity and difference between the two main cultures, I like the three parameters suggested by Edward Hall:

1. Time,

2. Context, and

3. Space.

Let me quickly compare the two broad cultures briefly using the aforementioned three indicators. Time is treated casually in communal cultures while it’s well organized in individual based cultures. Context is high in collective cultures where people express themselves implicitly while individuals in the individual based cultures communicate explicitly and use verbal communication predominantly. People from communal cultures are less territorial while people from individual based cultures have high tendency to mark their territories.


Back home, coming late is tolerable. It doesn’t matter who comes first. Since the relationship is valued more than time, none of us make coming late a big deal. We smile and hug each other affectionately and continue our business.

Here in the US, coming late for work is considered as a sign of unprofessionalism and has severe consequences. Outside of work, coming late damages relationships since being late is perceived as disrespectful.

What is interesting is that many of my friends from Ethiopia and Africa compartmentalize their time here in the US. They arrive on time when it comes to their job and formal business affairs but treat time casually in social gatherings. You may get an invitation stating at what time the meeting starts. Unless you have lots of spare time to spend, you don’t come on time as stated on the letter or email or flyer. The event may start two hours late.


In Ethiopia, we use nonverbal communications heavily. On the other hand, here in the US (and other individual based cultures), people dominantly use explicit verbal communication. In communal cultures, if you explicitly talk about yourself, your accomplishments, qualifications, experiences, and needs, you may be labeled as egotistical and selfish. On the contrary, if you don’t communicate verbally, explicitly, and express your needs, aspirations, and experiences in an individual based culture, you may be regarded as shy who lacks confidence.


I used to share bed, clothes, and shoes with my relatives and friends all the time. It was common to find yourself going to one of your friend’s home, and if it rains by the time you leave, you just pick the umbrella of your friend on your way out without asking permission. If you ask, it offends your host. He/she may feel that you distanced yourself. It doesn’t show intimacy and brotherhood/sisterhood. In the US, people are mindful of their spaces. You’re expected to respect other people’s boundaries. You cannot just grab and take someone’s stuff without risking being viewed as rude, or worst, thief.

Nonetheless, understanding the difference between the two cultural divides is the beginning of a long journey. We need to increase our cultural intelligence on a continual basis. With increased cultural intelligence comes understanding from where people come, and refraining from judging others based on the way they treat time, communicate, and handle space.

To get along with people from diverse cultures, we should stop treating our native culture as the standard bearer. We shouldn’t expect everyone to behave and act the way we do. We all should increase our cultural intelligence to live and work with people from different cultures successfully. We should also make some efforts to help each other to understand one another’s cultures.


You may also like

footer logo

To be updated with the latest innovations in various fields, to get updates about health and beauty, technology, politics, and world news, you will not get any better option than Whoo Knoo.

This is a one-stop site where you can find everything from new business trends and conditions to cultural and sports updates. Whether it is about cryptocurrency updates or changing conditions of world economies, you will find everything here. 

Whoo knoo is the best place if you want to enjoy quality content about CBD products that will help you to get your questions answered in the best way.

All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by whooknoo