Cultural Intelligence: the Secret to FIT in a Multicultural World

Here are two true cultural intelligence scenarios: Do you agree with the outcome?

Scenario 1: In an interview a highly qualified new Canadian reveals her discomfort and reluctance with speaking up at team meetings as she views it as being disrespectful to the manager. Perceived as a hiring risk, she is eliminated by the recruiting team as a candidate.

Scenario 2: A general manager is frustrated with having to “babysit” an internationally educated professional employee who, while technically proficient, is considered lacking in initiative. He is put on probation.

Most people would agree with these outcomes. Yet there are many facets to analyze. Both the recruiter and the employer were hasty in their judgments, and lost out on opportunities to bring much-needed skills to their workplaces — all because they lacked the Cultural Intelligence to check out what they were hearing and observing to enable a better outcome.

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Rhonda Singer
Rhonda Singer, M.Sc., C.H.R.D., CMF, is Senior Associate at Coaching for Action.