Cultural Intelligence

Podcast 033: Cultural Intelligence PART 2

Cultural Intelligence

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Cultural Intelligence PART 2’ Aaron continues to speak with Gregg Morris from Mahana Culture about how we can begin to gain some Cultural Intelligence. As youth workers we have a developing Intelligence or IQ eg. theory that informs our youth work practice. We have good Emotional Intelligence which lets us understand our young peoples feelings and how to respond to them appropriately. Yet we do not spend enough time thinking about Cultural Intelligence. It is extremely important for youth workers to assess the impact of our own cultural values, our cultural lens and the ethnocentrism which is at large in youth work. Today Gregg helps us to begin understanding our Cultural Tale.

Gregg Morris has worked as an educator, youth worker, lecturer and community development practitioner with a broad range of vulnerable community groups  in New Zealand and Australia, for more than twenty years. In his role as chief cultural intelligence researcher, training facilitator and cultural supervisor at Mahana, Gregg’s passion for cultural justice enables him to assist others to explore their own cultural tale, as well as support organisations to adopt a culturally responsive lens. In recent times, he has come to appreciate how a person’s cultural resilience can strengthen their sense of wellbeing.

Cultural Intelligence

Cultural intelligence completes the sociological and psychological circle of human development that begins with mental or intellectual intelligence (IQ). IQ is best known as a standardised measure of cognitive ability. It’s also the foundation on which emotional intelligence (EQ), rests, where EQ defines your ability to recognise and manage your emotions, and identify others’, in a social setting. IQ and EQ are essential to cultural intelligence. If you possess reasonable levels of both (AS YOUTH WORKERS DO), you are more likely to have a reasonable CQ level as well.

Cultural intelligence is a relatively new phenomenon. CQ researchers Soon Ang and Lin Van Dyne coined the term in the early 2000s, and David Livermore expanded on it in his book Leading With Cultural Intelligence. Between them, they have identified four capabilities:

CQ drive (or motivation)

CQ drive measures willingness and confidence to operate effectively in culturally diverse environments.

CQ-knowledge (or cognition)

CQ knowledge gauges awareness of cultural similarities and differences across business, interpersonal values, beliefs, and customs, and social, verbal and physical exchanges.

CQ strategy (or meta-cognition)

CQ strategy awareness of cultural diversity, and the skills to plan for and adjust to cultural experiences outside expectations.

CQ action (or behaviour)

CQ action evaluates how well or poorly subjects’ verbal and non-verbal performances impact on each other.

In this podcast we continue with Gregg to begin to understand our own generational cultural tale, a concept from Sioux Indian Martin Brokenleg, by unpacking our BLOOD, BIRTH and CHOICE. By understanding who we are are we can better show curiosity for who others are… a key concept in Cultural Intelligence and engaging respectfully with young people.

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

  • Mahana Culture (Check out the Mahana website for training and articles around Cultural Intelligence)
  • Martin Brokenleg
  •  If you want to explore these ideas personally we can help through the Ultimate Supervision Service

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Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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