I was first introduced to cultural intelligence (CQ) in my international management class this past year, and was highly intrigued by the topic. CQ is a person's capability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity. When the opportunity rose to read The Cultural Intelligence Difference, I jumped at the chance. Dr. David Livermore wrote the book to essentially give the everyday person, whether you are a teacher, doctor, entrepreneur or CEO, strategies to increase your CQ.  Here is a little excerpt of an example from the book that may apply to you:

"Here's one way of thinking about the progression from low CQ (1.0) to high CQ (5.0):

1.0 - Example: You observe that some individuals are silent during a meeting and you presume they’re using the “silent treatment” to demonstrate they’re bored and upset.

5.0 - Example: “You observe that some individuals are silent during a meeting and , almost without thinking about it, you offer them alternative ways to offer input; you’re subconsciously aware that their cultural background typically uses silence as a form of respect."

Is it impossible to go from the first example if that is where you are at, to the last high CQ example? Certainly not! There are many benefits of increasing your CQ, from superior cross-cultural adjustment, to improved job performance, to an enhanced personal well-being and even greater profitability! David Livermore presents some of his most compelling new findings that link a high CQ to strong decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution, leadership capabilities and greater enjoyment from intercultural work.

The book gave two very important themes. The first was that the need for cultural intelligence is too great to be ignored. You simply cannot ignore the fact that no matter what your occupation, you will be dealing with people from a diverse set of backgrounds and cultures. The main theme of the book was taking the four capabilities of cultural intelligence, and learning how to improve on each one of those to increase your cultural intelligence. Each book comes with your very own unique access code to take the CQ Self-Assessment. After you take the assessment, you can look at your feedback and work your way through the book to see what capabilities you can improve on and strategies to do just that.

What I liked best about this book was the fact that I didn’t just read it and be done with it. You can actually apply it to every cross-cultural situation you had and will have, and use it to better yourself in every-day living. The fact you could assess yourself and improve your CQ during and after you read the book is truly remarkable. After I took the assessment, I really paid attention to what capabilities I scored low on, and jotted down some strategies that truly interested me that I could get started on right away. Anyone can enhance their cultural intelligence through education, training, and experience, and I can find no better way than to read this book, which comes out tomorrow.

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