Archive for May, 2009

absolutely intercultural 84 +++ cultural intelligence re-visited +++ Cultural Intelligence Center +++ David Livermore +++ Debbie Swallow +++

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David Livermore - Leading with Cultural Intelligence

absolutely democratic?:
This week on different days depending on the different election rules there are elections all over Europe to elect members of the European parliament. Since when has there been the United States of Europe I hear you ask? Well no there is no such thing as the USE but we do have the 27 member European Union which many years ago decided to inject this organization with more directly accountable democracy by having a European Parliament. The sad thing is that people don’t seem to have any European identity and the results will simply be a reflection of national politics in each country with a lot of easy protest voting because of the perception that the result doesn’t matter. What we need here in Europe is a good dose of cultural intelligence maybe! So we’ll concentrate on that in this show.

absolutely intelligent:
In the last show we heard about a practical illustration of the way in which you can be actively culturally intelligent and this phrase is obviously very attractive because it is not only being used by Elisabeth Plum here in Denmark who I talked with in my last show but also by an organization calling itself the Cultural Intelligence Center in the US. But the Cultural Intelligence Center do not use the phrase Cultural Intelligence in exactly the same way as Elisabeth Plum. So I talked to David Livermore to find out more. So what is the difference between the CIC and the Danish brand of cultural intelligence? It turns out that the answer is a fourth critical strategy factor in addition to Plum’s three of action, knowledge and emotion. In fact David Livermore has just finished writing a book about how his brand of cultural intelligence can be applied to business situations. Called ‘Leading with Cultural Intelligence – the new secret to success’ it will be published in October. Click on the David Livermore link to find out more.

absolutely cross border:
It turns out that there are a couple of self-assessment quizzes on the CIC website, which confusingly has the web address culturalq.com, and I wanted to know how useful these might be. So to test one of these out I recruited Greg Houfe in the UK who may shortly be starting a project in Denmark to see how culturally intelligent he was prior to working with Danes and Norwegians. What score would he get?

absolutely famous:
Debbie Swallow in England asked:

‘Can you help? I’m in need of a list of well-known people (perhaps known in their own cultures even if not internationally) who we would consider as having cultural intelligence. I want to cite them as being role models.’

Well I thought about this and it turned out to be a very difficult question. In the end I thought that famous people were likely to be the people who least need to be culturally intelligent because we tolerate all sorts of eccentricities of our celebrities whether they be politicians or film stars. In fact politicians tend to be overly nationalistic while film stars such as Elisabeth Taylor have a reputation for being very demanding as they travel around. So there’s the challenge. Can you think of anybody who is well known, at least in your country, who you would rate as culturally intelligent? The only suggestion I could come up with was … don’t laugh now … Ray Mears, the survival expert. Why? Because for him survival means being acutely aware of your environment and where that includes people, he tends to make an effort to find out about them and interact with them. You surely must have a better suggestion than this! And if you do then please add it as a comment to this post.

The next show will be coming to you on 12 June from Germany.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Jan Warnecke


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absolutely intercultural 83 +++ experience of studying and working in Germany +++ stereotypes +++ International Fair +++

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Lubica at RheinAhrCampus

absolutely fresh:
When I speak to my students about planning a semester abroad one of my first tasks is usually to make them figure out strategically, what would be better for them– studying at one of our partner universities or doing an internship in a company abroad? Both options have their advantages. Today, I am speaking to Lubica Kuboveova who spent her last semester at RheinAhrCampus. She actually did both at the same time – studying and working abroad. I asked her how she managed to combine studying and working in Germany during her semester abroad and she tells us about her experiences. Lubica points out an important opportunity that she had when she came over. She could make a fresh start as nobody in the new place knew her before – and this allowed her to try out a fresh role in life.

absolutely unprepared:
What do students need to work on before they spend time in another culture?
Ellen Rana and Erin from America suggest that knowing some of the stereotypes about the country that you are going to visit helps you as long as you are prepared to break the stereotypes as soon as you see evidence that they are not true. The stereotypes help you know a little more about the culture that you visit but they also make you reflect about your own culture.

absolutely disciplined:
During our International Week on campus I asked Prof. Mert Cubukcu, a guest professor of town planning from our Turkish partner university why he recommends Germany as a destination for his students. He thinks that the mixture of different cultures in Germany but also the strictly defined discipline of life is an attitude that is not so easy to find in other countries.

The next show will be coming to you on 29 May from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Jan Warnecke


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absolutely intercultural 82 +++ cultural intelligence +++ Plum +++ Tomalin +++ diversity +++ human rights +++

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Cultural Intelligence
Are you intelligent?  one of our listeners, Dennis Jim Frederiksen wanted to know in February. Well he didn’t ask the question directly, but he did suggest that we take a look at the work of Elisabeth Plum who has come up with a new way of looking at intercultural differences and how to overcome them. She calls this cultural intelligence. So this show is about a new way of looking at the issue of intercultural competence.

We’ll also be hearing from Barry Tomalin, kicking off an exciting new European project called Diversity in Europe at Work, on why human rights has become part of the cultural landscape.

absolutely theoretical:
Why did Plum think we needed a new theory of culture? Ignoring the many aspects of diversity means you fall back on stereotypes according to Plum so how do you become culturally intelligent?

absolutely Russian:
So how does this translate into practice? When you meet with Russians, you should find out about Russian culture, right? Or maybe we shouldn’t!

absolutely diverse:
The idea that we shouldn’t focus on just one aspect was also the theme of Barry Tomalin’s talk to the ICC conference in Florence, Italy a couple of weeks ago. Tomalin is Director of Cultural Training at International House in London and was at the conference to present a new project called Diversity in the European Workplace or DEW for short, which is preparing some exciting intercultural training materials based on critical incident methodology. Tomalin started by talking about the different aspects of diversity which you typically find in a European workplace. These he called the 7 – ‘isms’. Watch out for an explanation of the Somali worker mystery at the end.   The recording comes courtesy of Carl Dowse who does intercultural training as part of his Business English courses in Germany and I hope to be talking to him in more detail about his approach in a later show.

absolutely intelligent:
Well let’s return to this idea of cultural intelligence. It is clear that the concept relies on the interplay of 3 factors, emotion, cognitive, action or what you feel, what you know and what you do. We hear how Elisabeth Plum explains the three factors.

So what do you think? Is this an idea that would help you in your intercultural encounters? You could let us know by leaving a comment here If you want to find out more about cultural intelligence then go to Elisabeth Plums blog where you can find details of her book and an article explaining the basic concepts of cultural intelligence. You may have heard Elisabeth mention that the phrase cultural intelligence is also used by a research group in the US in a slightly different way. So we will try and follow up on that so that we can see how the ideas compare. Well I hope that you are now a little more culturally intelligent. If not then you’ll just have to come back for more on May 15th when Laurent Borgmann hosts the next show from Germany.

The next show will be coming to you on 15th May Germany.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Jan Warnecke


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