People to People Ambassador Programs' educational trips cause Ambassadors to look at the world, its people, and international events differently. It's a change that could mean the difference between being passed over by the ideal employer—or a future full of achievement.
Dr. David Livermore, author of The Cultural Intelligence Difference, says, "more and more it's a given that you have to demonstrate your ability to work with lots of different people. Our country is changing, and without this capability, young people are going to lose out on important opportunities."
CQ is a different kind of intelligence, one that indicates your ability to adapt and be successful in new cultural contexts. The CQ assessment, which has been tested and used for more than a decade, measures not only your knowledge of other cultures, but also your drive, the action you've taken to learn about other cultures, and how strategic you are in approaching a new cultural situation.
According to Livermore, the goal of cultural intelligence is not to be "a chameleon everywhere I go, but to figure out how to best communicate who I am in a different place. Perhaps I'm a warm and friendly person, but my way of expressing friendliness may look different in a Latin culture than it does in an Asian culture." Culturally intelligent people, he says, "have a strong sense of who they are" and are "flexible with their assumptions."
Once Student Ambassadors have experienced another culture, they can contribute more to their own education and learn to show respect for norms that are different from their own."
—Angela McRae - Leader
What's to be gained by enhancing your CQ? Maybe the job of your dreams.
Large organizations like Google, Coca-Cola, and the U.S. Department of Justice are using the CQ assessment to determine the candidates most qualified to lead multinational teams. That's because people with high CQ have been shown to be "better innovators in the workplace, as well as people who can build trust better" among colleagues from different backgrounds.
But the payoffs of CQ can be even bigger, when you consider that CQ is a skill that prepares young people to learn about and "change some of the real atrocities of the world," says Livermore. "Whether you want to bridge political divides in our own country or provide clean water or fight human trafficking in another part of the world," the stronger your CQ, the more likely you are to "slow down, truly listen" to a range of cultural voices, and come to mutually agreeable solutions.
People to People Ambassador Programs and the Cultural Intelligence Center partnered together to develop and test a CQ assessment designed for students. The assessment also measured the effects of Ambassador travel on students' scores before and after travel.
A two- to three-week Student Ambassador educational trip increases CQ as much as a full semester of study abroad from an Ivy League school.- Results from CQ assessment by The Cultural Intelligence Center
Which features should you look for in a travel program if you want to enhance CQ? The I's have it.