For a long time, only Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test was considered as the go-to exercise to understand the human intelligence. But due to globalisation and the evolution of technology, cultural intelligence or Cultural Quotient (CQ) is slowly becoming the sought-after exercise for personality development. Many corporate companies, across the globe, have started lapping up this idea and the employees are now being emphasised to possess this trait.
Dr. Balachander, a PhD holder in Motivation (Psychology, Management and Neuro Science), is a corporate trainer with over a decade of experience. Inspired by CQ and its potential, the Chennaiite devised a workshop, which is solely dedicated to inculcate the cultural intelligence among people. As he has been getting impeccable feedback for his sessions, Bala is now planning to make this workshop more wholesome and he wishes to cater globally soon.
“As a corporate trainer, I wanted to bring something new to Chennai — which is not available in the Indian market and that’s when I came across cultural intelligence. When I started researching about it, I came to know that it rose to international prominence around 2007 and I realised that it’s very crucial for every Indian to imbibe CQ — especially given the fact that our country has so many languages, culture and different kinds of people,” Bala states.
So what does cultural intelligence mean? “Take this scenario for example: there is a situation, which involves more than one person and each one is from a different culture — by this I mean different economic scenario, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds. Now in this position, a person with cultural intelligence will make sure that all these people, in spite of their differences, manage to think on the same wavelength and are able to understand each other and bring about a positive solution to the situation.”
Speaking about what makes CQ an extremely important trait, he says, “We think we’re living an independent life — but we are extremely dependent on others more than ever before. So it’s absolutely important for everyone to be able to communicate their thought processes exactly the way they want to, with others, without sounding offensive or condescending. This might seem just like a people’s skill but it’s more than that — it would help you grow as a person and also in your profession.”
Sharing with us about his work nature and about his workshops, he says, “I’ve held several CQ workshops so far for many corporate and HR firms. I’ve seen a visible difference in the team chemistry or in the relationship between the employees post my sessions; and it’s really nice to see a positive change. My sessions are mostly organic and I don’t like to stick to one particular pattern of training.”
On a concluding note, he says, “I’m also trying to take CQ to colleges across the state and then to other parts of the country. But very soon, I will come up with the material that would cater to people from all parts of the world.”