Cultural intelligence is an important element for any person working with foreigners and especially for individuals fulfilling their Great Commission abroad. As noted by Tim Chang and Ashley Chang, people with the desire to promote the global church must embrace any kind of culture shock and put God first in their mission1. Assessing one’s level of cultural intelligence can significantly help a person to understand their strengths and weaknesses and find ways to enhance their expertise.
The CQ assessment is the framework which was designed to provide people with a clear picture of their cultural intelligence abilities and skills. The CQ test has four main components, namely, CQ Drive, CQ Knowledge, CQ Strategy, and CQ Action, which also have sub-dimensions. In the current paper, I present the results of my CQ analysis and thoroughly explore each of the aforementioned segments. The CQ Strategy and CQ Action were the segments where I scored the highest amounts of points across all sub-dimensions. Such results correctly reflect my ability to approach intercultural interactions from a position where I possess sufficient knowledge, which lets me act appropriately and be flexible.
While in terms of the CQ Drive, CQ Knowledge, the test exposed some of my weaknesses, including ones concerning self-efficacy, intrinsic interest, understanding of values, and leadership styles of other peoples. Thus, the CQ self-assessment is an effective tool which provided me with an opportunity to get an insight into my level of intercultural expertise and delivered information which was essential for creating an improvement plan.
The first part of the self-assessment involved determining my score in the CQ Drive segment, where I managed to achieve positive results. My overall score was 96, which is considered high and reflects my substantial willingness to engage in intercultural communication. Within the segment, extrinsic interest was the sub-dimension where I had the highest score of 98 points, which is consistent with my ability to derive personal benefits from intercultural interactions.
When I have a chance to speak to a person belonging to a different culture, I try to listen to what they say and learn from them. I derived my motto in life and in any intercultural interaction from the Bible it states, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak”2. Nevertheless, I scored 95 points in both intrinsic interest and self-efficacy, which, in my case, are interdependent variables because, on rare occasions, I struggle to establish proper intercultural communication, which negatively impacts my enjoyment.
The next part of the self-assessment involved the CQ Knowledge segment, where I also scored 98 points, thus proving my considerable understanding of other cultures. Nevertheless, only 95 points for the values and norms sub-division, which demonstrates that I am slightly inexperienced in terms of other peoples’ beliefs. I scored 98 points in the business and socio-linguistic sub-divisions since it is easy to identify and learn about the economic systems of countries and communication norms to which their populations adhere. Similarly, I received 97 points in the leadership sub-divisions because I am familiar with the rules and practices of management inherent to different nations.
The framework developed by Hofstede and its aspects such as value characteristics in individualistic and collectivistic cultures considerably help me in determining the basic mechanisms governing nations’ management principles3. As a result, I am always interested in discovering new aspects of other cultures and already have a strong foundation in the form of Hofstede’s tool.
In the CQ Strategy segment, my mean score was 98, which reflects my advanced skills and abilities to stay aware of multicultural situations and stick to the pre-determined plan of communication. In such cases, I follow one of Paul’s advice to Corinthians, “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way”4. Every time I have a chance to meet with a person with a different cultural and linguistic background, I try to prepare for the meeting thoroughly.
I scored the same 98 points across all three sub-divisions, which shows that my expertise is high in all three spheres. For example, in terms of planning, I can prepare in advance for an event of intercultural communication. While speaking of awareness, I have no problem keeping track of what my communication partner is saying. Similarly, I am proficient in checking assumptions and can easily change my mental maps during interactions with people when my experiences and expectations differ.
Finally, in the CQ Action segment, my results were the same as in CQ Strategy, and I scored 98 points across all sub-dimensions; namely, speech acts, verbal, and nonverbal. The results of the self-assessment indicated that I possess the ability to act in a proper manner in an intercultural context. In intercultural communication, nonverbal components are often considered superior to verbal ones, especially in situations when the meaning of the words is mixed5. The assessment correctly demonstrated that I could use both verbal and nonverbal means of communication correctly and effectively to ensure that my partner understands me.
An Improvement Plan (Strengths and Weaknesses)
Based on the results of the self-assessment, it is possible to identify the existing strengths and weaknesses concerning my cultural intelligence and develop a comprehensive plan to improve my level. My main strengths in terms of intercultural communication are verbal-nonverbal communication, awareness, and planning, as well as an understanding of business rules and socio-linguistic norms of other peoples. As for the weaknesses, I experience certain problems with self-efficacy, intrinsic interest, understanding of values of other nationalities, and leadership styles.
The improvement plan will focus on the correction of the aforementioned weaknesses, and the first step will concern self-efficacy and intrinsic interest. To improve the former sub-dimensions, I will examine my confidence level first and then will try to increase it by socializing with people from other cultures6. To enhance the latter, I will tie my intercultural communication to a more important goal, and in my case, it will be the Great Commission and my desire to promote the faith. Values and leadership are sub-dimensions belonging to the CQ knowledge, and to address them, I will first explore the role of culture in individuals, including myself. Additionally, I will start learning foreign languages of various peoples and will gain insights into the mechanisms governing their cultures and values through reading and interactions.
Abbasi-Shavazi, Mohammad Jalal, and Gavin W. Jones. “Population Dynamics and Human Capital in Muslim Countries.” Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 16, 1 (2018): 57-82.
Akbaba, Yasemin, and Jonathan Fox. “Societal Rather than Governmental Change: Religious Discrimination in Muslim-Majority Countries after the Arab Uprisings.” All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace 8, no. 1 (2019): 5–22.
Chang, C. Tim, and Ashley E. Chang. Christian Intercultural Communication: How to Share God’s Love with People of Other Cultures. Dubuque, IA: KendallHunt, 2021.
Hazran, Yusri. “Emigration of Christians from the Arab Middle East: A New Reading.” The Journal of the Middle East and Africa 10, no. 3 (2019): 189–210.
Holy Bible, New International Version. New York: Biblica, Inc, 2011.
Liao, Yuan, and David C. Thomas. Cultural Intelligence in the World of Work: Past, Present, Future. London: Springer Nature, 2020.
Liu, Shuang, Volcic, Zala, and Cindy Gallois. Introducing Intercultural Communication: Global Cultures and Contexts. New York: SAGE Publications, 2018.
Livermore, David. Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The Real Secret to Success. 2nd ed. New York: AMACOM, 2015.
Mashuri, Ali, and Esti Zaduqisti. “Explaining Muslims’ Aggressive Tendencies Towards the West: The Role of Negative Stereotypes, Anger, Perceived Conflict and Islamic Fundamentalism.” Psychology and Developing Societies 31, no. 1 (2019): 56-87.
Presbitero, Alfred and Hooman Attar. “Intercultural communication effectiveness, cultural intelligence and knowledge sharing: Extending anxiety-uncertainty management theory.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 67, no. 1 (2018), 35–43.
Ting-Toomey, Stella and Leeva C. Chung. Understanding Intercultural Communication. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Chang, C. Tim, and Ashley E. Chang, Christian Intercultural Communication: How to Share God’s Love with People of Other Cultures (Dubuque, IA: KendallHunt, 2021), 37.
- James 1:19 (New International Version).
- Ting-Toomey, Stella and Leeva C. Chung, Understanding Intercultural Communication (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 47.
- Corinthians 14:40 (New International Version).
- Liu, Shuang, Volcic, Zala, and Cindy Gallois, Introducing Intercultural Communication: Global Cultures and Contexts. (New York: SAGE Publications, 2018), 79.
- Livermore, David, Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The Real Secret to Success. 2nd ed (New York: AMACOM, 2015), 54.