Cultural Intelligence and Inclusion Training

Cultural Intelligence and Inclusion Training

by Felicity Menzies
While there is increasing recognition of the business case for culturally inclusive work settings, there is a critical lack of understanding about how to achieve this.
Cultural inclusion requires a different set of competencies to the ‘gender smarts’ required for gender inclusion. A culturally inclusive work setting requires a culturally intelligent workforce and leadership.
Cultural intelligence and inclusion training transfers the foundation knowledge, skills, and mindsets required to work effectively with culturally diverse stakeholders and to foster culturally inclusive work settings.
Happy Indian woman with pretty smile wearing glasses and looking at camera. Portrait of ambitious diligent female student. Clever girl concept

About Cultural Intelligence

The Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Model

Cultural intelligence (CQ) is the collection of knowledge, skills and abilities that enable an individual to detect, assimilate, reason and act on cultural cues appropriately.

Individuals with high CQ display four main competencies:

CQ Drive - Your willingness to work with cultural diversity

CQ Drive involves your ability to overcome explicit or unconscious bias and your capacity to persist in challenging interactions—even when confused, frustrated, or burnt out.

CQ Knowledge — Your understanding of culture and cultural differences

CQ Knowledge involves more than awareness of variations in language, customs, and appearance. Core cultural differences like values, assumptions, and beliefs are often invisible but cause the most problems—and are frequently overlooked.

CQ Strategy — Your ability to flex mentally

With high CQ Strategy, you are not confined to a single worldview. You are open to new or integrative ideas. This drives innovation and creativity.

CQ Action — Your ability to flex verbal and non-verbal behaviour

CQ Action decreases the risk of miscommunication and helps you to respond to diverse others in a manner that conveys respect and builds trust and rapport.

Cultural Intelligence & Inclusion

While social and emotional intelligence predict interpersonal effectiveness in culturally homogenous environments, cultural intelligence explains differences in interpersonal functioning outside one’s home culture. In diverse cultural settings, CQ improves:


Cultural intelligence disrupts negative stereotypes and enhances intercultural understanding and respect. Workplace incivility, harassment and discrimination are lower.


Cultural intelligence dismantles ‘us vs them’ social categorisations and is positively associated with workgroup cohesion, integration, and trust.


Workers with cultural intelligence experience higher levels of sociocultural adjustment and psychological well-being and lower levels of stress. Workers are more satisfied, engaged, and committed. All employees contribute fully to work processes.


Cultural intelligence allows for new leadership models. Companies are better able to win, develop, energise and promote top global talent.

How CQ Differs from Other Intercultural Models

Since 2004, when the Harvard Business Review published ‘Cultural Intelligence’,  a notable collection of established organisations across a variety of industries in more than 100 countries have embraced CQ as a tool for enhancing global effectiveness. Here’s why;


The four competencies that form high cultural intelligence are not abstract ideas. Social scientists have demonstrated that those competencies map to particular regions of the brain. Studies show they predict important measures of performance in diverse cultural settings, including better problem solving and decision-making, improved well-being, and better task performance.

In fact, CQ is a better predictor of effectiveness in diverse settings than cognitive ability, emotional intelligence (EQ), personality, demographic characteristics, language fluency and international experience.

Capability model

Cultural intelligence is not a personality trait, nor something you are born with. Rather cultural intelligence can be developed with education, training, and experience. This malleability provides companies with an opportunity to create an enviable competitive advantage—a capacity for innovation and agility—that can drive sustainable global growth.


Cultural intelligence is not about becoming an “expert” in any one culture. Rather, CQ is a set of generic competencies that transcend national borders, rigid stereotypes, and particular cultural contexts. Cultural intelligence involves an inclusive mindset and adaptable behavioural repertoire that promotes cultural fluency across varied cultural contexts. By transcending rigid stereotypes, cultural intelligence accommodates for nuanced cultural differences, and that makes CQ a powerful tool for managing the complexity of cultural diversity and unlocking its potential.

About the Workshop

 Workshop Outline

  • The business case for cultural diversity
  • Challenges managing cultural diversity
  • The nature and origin of cultural bias
  • Cultural diversity and inclusion in Australian workplaces
  • Moving from colour blind to colour brave
  • Understanding culture and its implications for interpersonal relations
  • Self-awareness: Understanding your orientation in ten main cultural dimensions
  • Other-awareness: Mapping cultural dimensions to cultural clusters
  • The cultural intelligence (CQ) model
  • Developing the four main CQ competencies
  • Mapping cultural differences to work preferences (e.g. feedback, influencing, decision-making, trust, teaming, conflict resolution)
  • Applying CQ for cultural inclusion, including best practices for managing multicultural teams
  • Personalised development plan

Learning Outcomes

  • Increased awareness of the role of culture in interactions
  • Know-how to improve cultural intelligence in self and others
  • Improved effectiveness working with diverse colleagues, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders
  • Inclusive mindset and expansive worldview
  • Personal growth
  • Enhanced adjustment and well-being

Consistent with research on adult learning, we believe that the best learning outcomes result when participants engage holistically with program content. All Include-Empower learning and development programs incorporate experiential learning techniques, including opportunities to reflect on and apply learnings to the real-life challenges facing participants. Activity-based instruction engages learners mentally, emotionally and behaviourally, which more closely aligns with the realities and complexities of intercultural exchanges.

Leaders, people managers and individual contributors working in diverse cultural settings at home or across borders.

Developing CQ requires commitment. The recommended length of the workshop is one-day. The full workshop may be run over two half-days or condensed into a half-day introductory session.

Recommended workshop size is 12-24 participants.

Leader participants would complete the Cultural Values Questionnaire as important input into the program.

Learn more

Please contact us for details of our fee structure.