A Discussion Series on Cultural Diversity:How to promote cross cultural understanding and collaboration

Communication and Developing Your CQ (Cultural Intelligence)
The only way we can move forward in our global world is if we learn how to communicate with each other properly. Similar to our IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional intelligence), we can learn to develop CQ (cultural intelligence). In order to become an individual with CQ, we need to accept that our perceptions may be influenced by our own cultures and also empathise with others, which will develop our emotional intelligence. All types of intelligence are vital to becoming a self-aware globalized individual.

“Intercultural Communication is the understanding of cultural differences and the consideration applied when communicating with people from different cultures or
subcultures. “ (Weaver, 2000)

It is important to note that your own way of communicating and understanding different cultures is just as important and valuable as someone else’s. We are all works in progress and trying to empathise with one another is a continuous process we need to keep working on. One of the best ways to develop your emotional and cultural intelligence is by asking questions! In doing so, you will discover much more about a person and their cultural influences and in turn, a lot more about the way they think.

Emotional Intelligence: Why are Emotions important ?

Living without emotion would be like eating food but not tasting any flavour. It would make society and people’s lives dry and boring. People would no longer create art and music, build relationships and value things. At most an artist would paint what they observe, little different from a photograph. Emotion brings life and feeling into art and music.
What distinguishes us from animals is our ability to experience complex emotions. This means that with time I have been motivated to heal and, therefore, supported my own flourishing in life.

Not only would we lose the opportunity to heal and flourish emotionally, we would be unlikely to switch on our emotions ever again, having once turned them off, because there would be no incentive to turn back to the same emotional distress that led us to switch off our emotions in the first place. Without the motivation to strive for healing our lives would become sad and solitary. More fundamentally, without emotions we would lose interest in any emotional interaction with other people in society. We would display no interest in what drives or motivates others and in exploring and building relationships with them. Emotional connection to others is at the core of all social interaction in society. Without these deep emotional drivers, we would lose the desire to connect and the opportunity mutually to benefit and flourish from relationships. A life without emotional connection to others through relationships becomes empty and meaningless. Ultimately this would lead us to realise that we are completely alone which would inevitably led us to conclude that life is meaningless.

Without developing a higher level of emotional intelligence, we may lose the ability to empathise then we lose the ability to understand others. Trying to understand each other and our emotional situations is one of the most fundamental parts of being human and is necessary for society to function. On a global scale,

Our emotions allow us to question why someone or groups of people inflict such pain onto other human beings, such as the victims of the Khmer Rouge which included families, children and innocent people. In addition, if we are unable to empathise with the victims, we are less likely to strive to prevent such things from ever occurring again. Logically, we might still argue that such atrocities should not happen again but for different reasons such as preventing a waste of labour resources which could hinder the economic development of the country. We may even be able to see logically genocide is morally wrong. However, it is only with empathy which allows us to imagine what the horrors were like for the victims and their families and makes us try and understand the pain of others that we grow and progress as a society.