Test Your Cultural Competence!

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Cultural Competence is a cross-cultural “fluency” which enables you to have positive and productive interaction with people from other cultures. 

It's a set of skills that allows you to quickly and effectively become well-versed in the actions that facilitate success in another culture, and the ability to "style switch" when the situation calls for it.

 Rate yourself on a scale of 0-10:

0.  Not at all
1.  Very little
2.
3.  Somewhat
4.
5.  Moderately
6. 
7.  Quite a bit
8. 
9.  Really, really well
10. Could not be better

1. How much do you know about how your own cultural values shape your assumptions, thoughts, and behaviors?

2. How open are you to different ways of doing things?

3. How curious are you about other cultures and their cultural norms?

4. How well are you able to observe without judging?

5. How comfortable are you in situations where you don't know or understand what is going on?

6. How flexible are you when things don't happen the way you expected or thought they should?

7. How well do you tolerate silence and verbal ambiguity?

8. How good are you at managing your emotions?

9. How much do you consider other peoples' feelings and priorities when making decisions or policies?

10. How well are you able to bounce back from embarrassing, uncomfortable, or disappointing situations and maintain a positive attitude?

11. How committed are you to making your cross-cultural interactions a success?

This is not a statistically validated test, but just thinking about the questions and your answers can give you insight into your strengths and weaknesses, and show you where you need some work.

However, if you want better insight, ask someone who knows you well to rate you very honestly.

How did you do?  Here's an unscientific guide:

A score of 110: Honestly?

A score above 90: Good going.

A score between 70 and 90: You're on the right track, but you'd be more successful across cultures if you developed certain skills. What are those?  What will you do to improve? Commit to these and keep checking your progress.

A score between 50 and 70: There's a lot that you need to do so it's time to get started if you are working across cultures. Look at your weak areas. Identify goals, strategies, and milestones.  Assess your progress frequently and re-evaluate your plan as needed.

A score below 50: There are lots of ways to improve and it will take work, but if it's important to you, try getting someone to coach or mentor you.

Some of the ways to improve include reading books, traveling, finding a cultural mentor, getting training, and hiring a cross-cultural coach.

Please let us know your honest score! No need to leave your real name, just your real score.  What was your greatest strength?  What was your biggest weakness?  What are you going to do with this information?

 Diana Rowland, author Global Competence

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