A seminar on “Cultural Intelligence and Communication for Global Effectiveness” was organized by the IME department, IIT Kanpur. The speaker was Ms. Shoma Mukherjee, who is a well-known consultant for MNCs and practices in the field of Business Communications, HR and Finance. She introduced the topic by mentioning that people from different cultures differ in a variety of ways. This means that there are several challenges in cross cultural communication in terms of communication style, attitudes towards conflicts, and approaches to completing tasks etc. And thus, in this globalized world, it becomes highly imperative to have an insight of these issues and make a conscious effort to overcome them
She went on to explain the Iceberg model of culture, which identifies a visible area consisting of behavior or clothing or symbols and a level of values that is invisible. Also she discussed Hofstede dimensions to distinguish between cultures which comprise of Power distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty avoidance and Long term/Short term orientation. The participants were given an activity to categorize various statements with respect to these dimensions. Ms. Mukherjee further talked about Cultural intelligence (CQ) in terms of cognition, motivation and behavior. She told that CQ is rooted in four different, yet interrelated set of capabilities: metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ, motivational CQ, and behavioral CQ. She also delved into Edward Hall’s dimensions of culture: High context and Low context, which are used to describe cultural differences between societies. All these concepts were illustrated in light of real world situations.
She concluded the discussion by highlighting the keys to effective cross cultural communication, like understanding cultural diversity, developing awareness of individual cultures, welcoming change and so on. Since the cultures vary largely, it is quite significant to be culturally intelligent, so as to work effectively in the multicultural environment. The participants found the seminar to be very interactive and informative, addressing cultural challenges that exist in today’s business environment.
Report prepared by:
PR & Media Cell
MBA Class of 2013