The topic of the need for cultural awareness in the development of cultural intelligence has become diverse. There is a need for every business organization and other institutions to understand the issue related to cultural awareness and therefore derive cultural intelligence which is very needful for business communication, and improvement of the organization standards. In today’s world, there is need for managers to be aware of the different cultures that people have. It will help them in promoting growth, diversification and building organizational culture successfully. The issue on the need for cultural awareness has been considered necessary today to help in building an organizational culture and the code of conduct in a working environment as well as developing cross-cultural communication. This is a critical reflection essay aimed at explaining the need for cultural awareness in the development of cultural intelligence from an international business perspective.
The world is very diversified. Everyone we come across practices a different culture than we have. The issue of cultural awareness helps in building a foundation that entails acknowledging others values, beliefs and lives perceptions. Cultural awareness is defined as the acknowledgment and understanding of how others live, how they behave, how they react and forces behind their reactions and how they view issues surrounding them. The application of cultural awareness becomes effective when people are interacting with each other.it helps people to be aware of others behaviors and help them in avoiding misinterpretation and misunderstanding of ideas when they are communicating and sharing ideas. Cultural awareness plays an important role in our critical reflection essay and cultural competence. (Tomalin, 2013)
Cultural intelligence is increasingly being used for business, education and governance purpose. It’s defined as the ability to work effectively in an environment composed of people with different cultures and the capability, to interact positively with anyone. It’s also referred to as a way of predicting and determining intercultural performance. (Earley, 2003)
Importance of developing cultural intelligence through cultural awareness
When an individual is aware of the existing diverse cultures, as well as similar cultures, are being practices around, they can easily adapt to any cultural environment. This can only be made possible through cultural awareness knowledge and appreciation. Cultural awareness involves the knowledge of the economy, social norms practices, legal systems, beliefs, religious practices and languages for better and healthy interaction within a diverse environment. Cultural awareness is therefore very important for a business manager to develop both verbal and non-verbal communication skills which help them to generate cross culture intelligence. They are therefore able to execute effective methods of communicating in an environment of diverse cultures.
Moreover, with cultural intelligence, managers can come up with strategies that can be effective in culturally diverse environments. By influencing judgments about one's particular idea, through Social Mindfulness, one can build up the Social Insight and strategize the tone, highlight, and so forth. Social Insight in real life is a man's capacity to adjust to a culturally diverse Condition having the mindfulness in this manner and picking the correspondence procedure. Moreover, Cultural intelligence is essential for anybody working across different societies; however, it is especially helpful for international managers and worldwide business pioneers. Intelligent managers can perceive how their representatives act in various social settings and comprehend what they anticipate.
Socially wise supervisors have the capacity, to "create a new mental framework for understanding what they experience,” which enables them to consider how functioning practices and correspondence styles could be diverse when working across cultures. An abnormal state of social knowledge causes them to make a positive domain, outfit colleague's abilities and grow high performing groups that will convey the best outcomes when working across cultures. Understanding and being aware of cultural differences helps in creating an environment of interaction. Different groups of people have different opinions, tastes, and preferences. For instance, working with young people in the current world, you should be aware that there is always new and growing cultures. Young people tend to portray the growing popularity of the Hip-hop music and acknowledging that, will make it easier for a manager to know how young generation perceive issues. Therefore the manager can react positively to certain stimuli thereby promoting interaction skills while communicating with this group of young people. (Ang & Van, 2008)
Analysis of theories
Several theories have been developed concerning the issue of cultural awareness and the interpretations linked with it. This helps in the development of cultural intelligence. According to (Spencer & Franklin, 2012), culture is linked to a certain social group that has a common value for a product. He explains that culture can be explained using the 3ps that include, product, practice, and perspective. The product is defined as a codified aspect of culture for instance furniture. On the other hand, practice is defined as the behavioral pattern, for instance, speaking patterns and bowing while seeking for something. The perspective means the deep and common attributes and values that people often hold and consider in life like respect for the elders. (Livermore & Van Dyne, 2012). If a manager considers the three Ps, they may positively have a significant help in their workplace by developing cultural intelligence for effective cross-cultural communication. Three aspects are evidence of cross-cultural intelligence. They include report reflection and reevaluation. These three help people handle others in a better way within a cross-cultural environment. When we possess a sense of cultural intelligence, we tend to grow the intercultural competence. We can react with specific groups of people that practice different cultures than ours, having different tastes and different views on a given subject as well. With strong cultural intelligence, one can handle new business and help in growing the business to greater levels with much ease. We can be able to note newer business opportunities when we consider intertwining cultural intelligence with strategic business growth
From a personal perspective, I can relate some of the experiences encountered to help explain the need and importance of cultural experiences. I have witnessed a manager working with young people encountering some challenges. The manager was aged, at about 60 years. The staff was composed of young people, say 33years and below. The manager was always complaining how everyone during lunch hour was keen listening to hip-hop music and twitting as well as faces booking. During such breaks, you could see everyone busy on their phones, and this angered the manager. There were cases of collision and the management ended up replacing the manager with another one. This time around, they considered a young manager and such cases seized. This can be attributed to the fact that the new manager was aware of young generation culture and therefore managing them was easier than the previous manager.
Cultural awareness plays a key role in the development of cultural intelligence. Being aware of other peoples’ cultural values helps in building cultural intelligence. This can be of great importance in management purposes and more so in the development of marketing strategies and develop HR policies. For future trends, there is a need to develop intercultural competencies. (Kim & Choi, 2011)
Ang, S., & Van, D. (2008). Cultural intelligence. The Cambridge.
Earley, P. C. (2003). Cultural intelligence: Individual interactions across cultures. Stanford University Press.
Kim, Y. S., & Choi, S. M. (2011). Cultural difference in motivations for using social network sites: A comparative study of American and Korean college students. Computers in human behavior, 365-372.
Livermore, D., & Van Dyne, L. (2012). Cultural intelligence: Why every leader needs it. In Intercultural Management Quarterly (pp. 18-21).
Spencer, O., & Franklin, P. (2012). What is culture? A compilation of quotations. In GlobalPAD Core Concepts, (pp. 1-22).
Tomalin, B. (2013). Tomalin, B., & Stempleski, S. (2013). Cultural Awareness-Resource Books for Teachers. Oxford University Press.