Topic 2 Cultural and emotional intelligence

Cultural Intelligence is the natural evolution from the now well-established notions of Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Intelligence.

Cultural intelligence refers to a person’s ability to function and effectively manage relationships in a culturally diverse contexts (Ang and Van Dyne, 2008; Earley and Ang, 2003).

Cultural Intelligence reflects a general set of capabilities that facilitate one’s effectiveness across different cultural environment. In this sense, Cultural Intelligence is culture free.

Emotional intelligence is «a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions» (Salovey & Mayer, 1990).

Cultural intelligence is a critical part of setting organizations apart in today’s globalized world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and innovation.

With cultural intelligence, it will be easier to know how to strategically use cultural differences to come up with more innovative solutions.

Why is Cultural Intelligence an essential skill for organizations?

  • Success in culturally diverse markets
  • Speed and efficiency when working across borders
  • Effective short-term and long-term global assignments


  • Becoming an employer of choice
  • Profitability and cost savings
  • Multicultural team effectiveness
  • Global virtual team effectiveness

Five Ways to Build Cultural Intelligence

1. Be curious and interested in learning about other cultures

2. Develop an awareness of self in relation to others.

3. Make your mind a clean slate.

4. Develop an awareness of your biases towards other cultures and traditions.

5. Put yourself in situations with people from different cultures