Mindfulness First

Hi and welcome to Part 2 of our blog mini-series on Emotional Intelligence. The rainy season is upon us here in Bangkok, very early this year. The torrential downpours outside make it easier to sit inside and work.  

Before I go deeper into the main areas of the EQi 2.0 model, I would like to bring up the topic of mindfulness. Mindfulness is not a new topic nor am I a mindfulness expert. I do my best to intentionally practice mindfulness a few times a week, similar to many people. What I would like to introduce is the idea of mindfulness as a pre-requisite for working on increasing your emotional intelligence. The author, Google engineer and founder of ‘Search Inside Yourself’, Chade-Meng Tan, suggests that in order to become more emotionally self-aware, we need to be able to pay attention. He states, “attention is the basis of all higher cognitive and emotional abilities. Therefore, any curriculum for training emotional intelligence has to begin with attention training.” When you are able to pay attention you can observe yourself and your own thought and behavior processes.  

Chade-Meng Tan offers a very simple way to begin to practice mindfulness. First identify an intention with wanting to improve your attention span, for example, stress reduction or perhaps getting along with a specific person. Then sitting in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed, focus on your breath. And keep focusing on your breath. If you get distracted, bring your attention back to your breath, being kind to yourself and reminding yourself of your intention with practicing mindfulness. Try it. 10 minutes a day will feel wonderful. 

How has mindfulness helped you? How has mindfulness made you more emotional intelligent? Please share in the comments, we would love to hear from you!

Photo from the book Search Inside Yourself, courtesy of Chade-Meng Tan and Philippe Goldin.

Would you like to learn more about your own self-perception? Contact Catherine for more information about the EQi 2.0 assessment. 

Enjoy! 

Catherine

Emotional Intelligence mini-series

Happy Summer everyone! Whether you are working or off for the summer, I hope this post finds you curious and interested in Emotional Intelligence. 

 This post is part 1 of a 7-part blog mini-series on Emotional Intelligence, a subject that is interesting to many of us. This post will be an introduction and the subsequent posts will move on to more detail topics.
The interest in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has increased significantly over the past few years. Having high EQ is relevant and helpful to most of us, no matter what our day-to-day lives are about. No matter whether you are a volunteer, an employee, a leader, a parent, a friend, a teammate, a sibling, a child, an expat or living in your own home town, we can all benefit from increasing our EQ. There are many articles and books on the subject demonstrating that good leadership is not only IQ, but also EQ. Some authors propose that good leadership is more about EQ than IQ. There are ROI calculations from companies that have invested in increasing the EQ of their management and employees. High emotional intelligence is also, and perhaps more compelling for most of us, associated with being more effective, having deeper relationships and achieving our goals. For me, as an expat in a culture that is far different from my own background, having high emotional intelligence helps me to adapt culturally. There is a strong case for increasing our emotional intelligence.

But, what is Emotional Intelligence? Can you define it? It is so much more than ‘being nice to other people’ or ‘controlling your emotions’. Emotional Intelligence has been defined by many and in many ways. I’m not sure there is agreement on the exact definition. One definition is (from The EQ Edge by Steven J. Stein, PhD and Howard E. Book M.D.): a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. 

There are several models for emotional intelligence. Four of those are: EQi 2.0/EQ360, TESI, MSCEIT and EISA. There are several books that discuss the relative benefits and drawbacks of each of these models. The model I am most familiar with is the EQi2.0 and an overview is shown in the attachment. It is primarily a self-assessment that is both valid and reliable and there are many activities and exercises available to work on each of the areas and sub-dimensions. To find out where you are strong and which are your focus areas, the EQi2.0 assessment is readily available. In this mini-series, I will dive into some detail about each of the main areas and share with you exercises and activities. Speak soon!


Catherine

Trust in Different Cultures

Here we are at the final post of Resilient Minds’ blog mini-series on cultural intelligence. We will take a second dimension and look deeper at it. 

The sixth dimension in The Culture Map as presented by Erin Meyer in her book of the same name is: Trusting. In particular, Erin discusses the way trust is developed in business relationships around the world. The continuum goes from task-based to relationship-based. It could also be labeled ‘cognitive trust’ and ‘affective trust’. To the left there are many cultures where trust in business relationships is built through cognitive trust or, in simpler terms, through another person’s accomplishments, skills and reliability. The other end of the continuum is ‘relationship-based’ where business relationships are developed through personal relationships. 

Let’s practice: You are the coordinator of a local charity. Most participants are from the US, UK and Germany. This year, a Thai participant and a Chinese participant recently arrived in the area want to join. They have never travelled outside Asia. You are preparing a big fundraiser event and welcome the extra help. There is a lot of work that needs to be done quickly.

How would you help them integrate and feel part of the group? How would you assign them the first tasks? 

Do you find the difference in the way trust is developed around the globe interesting? Join us for our Opening Doors Across Cultures workshop in Asok, Bangkok on May 19th. 

Sign up on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-doors-across-cultures-registration-33182656218?aff=es2

Thanks for joining me in this blog mini-series! I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Any feedback is more than welcome. 

#culturalintelligence #resilientminds

Communication 

Welcome back to our blog mini-series on cultural intelligence. This is post 4 of 5. Hope you are enjoying the discussions!
The first dimension in The Culture Map as presented by Erin Meyer in her book of the same name is: Communication. The continuum goes from low-context to high-context. Or in other words from explicit communication to implicit communication. In many western cultures, children are brought up to communicate explicitly and explicit communication is considered good communication. In other cultures, where implicit communication is the norm, implicit communication is considered good communication. Children are brought up to communicate based on unconscious assumptions and shared knowledge. 

Let’s practice:
Imagine….

……. you are leading a committee that is organizing a big event. There are many people helping out with the planning and they are from around the world. The event has been organized many times previously and there are many things that will just be repeated again this year, primarily because they are considered best practices. You are preparing for the initial meeting with all of the volunteers. How do you design your first meeting to take into consideration the various communication styles?

Let us know what you think. We are curious as to how you would approach this.
Interested in learning more about various communication styles? 
Join us for our Opening Doors Across Cultures workshop in Asok, Bangkok on May 19th.

Sign up on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-doors-across-cultures-registration-33182656218?aff=es2

#culturalintelligence #resilientminds

The Culture Map

Welcome to post 3 of 5 in a mini-series on cultural intelligence. So far, we have looked at what culture is and the five stages of developing cultural intelligence. This post is about learning to eat an elephant in small bites. Culture is a very broad concept and can be analyzed by looking at it’s component parts. There are many models out there for analyzing culture and many of them use the idea of dimensions. Our favorite model is presented by Erin Meyer in her book called ‘The Culture Map.’ Erin proposes 8 dimensions along which cultures can be placed and analyzed. Especially relevant is one culture’s placement relative to another.

The eight dimensions are:

• Communicating

• Evaluating

• Persuading

• Leading

• Deciding

• Trusting

• Disagreeing

• Scheduling
Can you define each of these dimensions? Which dimensions are related to each other? Where is your culture or cultures on the different continuums? What kinds of challenges can arise from different placements?

I have to say that personally I feel that there are aspects of life which are not covered in these 8 dimensions. Two examples are: attitude towards money and dealing with problems. There are others as well. I would love to meet Erin Meyer and discuss someday!

Join us for our workshop called ‘Opening Doors Across Cultures’ on May 19th in Asok, Bangkok to learn more!

Sign up on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-doors-across-cultures-registration-33182656218?aff=es2
#culturalintelligence #resilientminds

The 5 Stages

Welcome back! In this post, I will share with you 5 stages of cultural intelligence development as presented by David C. Thomas and Kerr Inkson in their book, ‘Cultural Intelligence, Surviving and Thriving in the Global Village.’

 
Let’s imagine that you find yourself participating in a multi-cultural environment. That could be any number of scenarios: you are living in a cultural not your own, you work in a job where you interact with people from a culture not your own or even possibly you are involved in a community/volunteer group related to immigrants to your own home culture. In any of these scenarios and many more, you will be more successful at achieving your goals with increased cultural intelligence (and, by the way increased emotional intelligence!). The good news is that you can learn new cultures with cultural self-awareness and focused intentional change.

 
The following is taken more or less directly from the book referenced above:
Stage 1 – Reactivity to external stimuli. Here we don’t even realize that cultural differences exist and mindlessly adhere to our own culture.

 
Stage 2 – Recognition of other cultural norms and the existence of a motivation to learn more. The individual is curious and wants to learn more and may find a foreign culture very complex and hard-to-understand.

 

Stage 3 – Accommodation of other cultural norms in one’s own mind. We deepen our understanding of cultural variation and start to understand cultural norms in their own context. We understand how to behave, even if we find it uncomfortable.

 
Stage 4 – Assimilation of diverse cultural norms into alternative behaviors. Individuals have a broad repertoire of behaviors which can be used depending on the situation. They are able to function almost as if they were in their home culture and members of other cultures accept them and feel comfortable interacting.

 
Stage 5 – Proactivity in cultural behavior thanks to an understanding of cues that others do not notice. Individuals are attuned to the nuances of intercultural interactions and can automatically change their behaviors.

 
What do you think of these stages? Where would you place yourself? How can you intentionally improve your own cultural intelligence?

 
If you find this topic interesting, consider joining us at our Opening Doors Across Cultures workshop on May 19th in Bangkok.

 
Sign up on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-doors-across-cultures-registration-33182656218?aff=es2
#culturalintelligence

Culture

Hi! In preparation for our next session of Opening Doors Across Cultures, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the topic of cultural intelligence. Please join me for the next 5 blog posts for a discussion on this exciting topic.

 
Understanding and being able to thrive in cultures other than your own is a critical skill in today’s interconnected and globalized world. We are living in a time of dramatically increased opportunity and need for interacting and understand people from around the globe. We see, hear and experience people from around the globe with diverse beliefs, attitudes, values and assumptions. Understanding each other’s culture will greatly improve our ability to get things done and to build better personal and business relationships.

 
What is culture? We all carry in us patterns of thinking, feeling and potential acting. Most of this is learned early in life and established as our patterns. These patterns can be considered ‘software of the mind.’ The sources our mental programs lie within the social environment in which we grew up, our family, neighborhood, school, youth groups, sports teams, activity groups and in our community. In the field of social anthropology, these patterns are referred to as culture. Culture is collective because it is almost always shared with others from the same social environment. Culture is learned, deriving from our social environment. One our patterns are established, it is very difficult to unlearn them and to re-learn new patterns. Culture is different from human nature and from individual personality, as is shown in the diagram. *

 
What are your thoughts? What is your best cultural difference story? How would you define your own personal culture? What is culture comprised of?

 
There you have a brief overview of what culture is. Join us in our workshop ‘Opening Doors Across Cultures’ to find out even more about increasing your own cultural intelligence!

 
Sign up on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-doors-across-cultures-registration-33182656218?aff=es2

 
*From: Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition, by Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, Michael Minkov

 
#culturalintelligence #resilientminds