Level 1 CQ Certification – Part I: Overview

I am back from Washington DC where I completed the Level 1 CQ Train-the-Trainer Certification.  The certification was skilfully facilitated by David Livermore, PhD, who works at The Cultural Intelligence Center, LLC at Michigan State University.  As promised, here is how it went…

The certification was an intimate gathering that allowed for ample discussion and group interaction.  There were eighteen of us, from all different walks of life.  It was fascinating to see how many people know that CQ is important and beneficial to their respective profession.  There were many fields represented: academia, education, government, corporations, faith-based and non-profit.  The majority of the participants were American, there was one other fellow Canadian besides myself, and then one participant from Spain and one from China in attendance.  It was a fantastic mixture of various genders, ages, nationalities, ethnicities and professions.  Each person bringing a unique perspective to the table: with the common goal of cultural understanding in mind.  Of course you would expect a topic like cultural intelligence to entice a culturally diverse group of participants!

It was exciting to meet and interact with everyone.  It was interesting hearing people’s stories and cultural mishaps, as well as learning of our collective lack of cultural training.  This was shocking.  For such a diverse group of participants, hardly any of us had ever received cultural training before.  This in itself is wrong, yet it might help explain why so many international ventures fail.

It is my hope that as cultural intelligence continues to gain attention, more people in the world will be able to undertake cultural training.  Cultural training that revolves not just around the idea of diversity, but more around the dedication of improving one’s cultural effectiveness for the long run.

Overall, the session was very engaging and informative but, like all new endeavours, there is room for improvement.  One of the exciting aspects of the certification being so new is that we, as participants, get to give feedback to help shape the future of the program.  The one aspect where I felt the certification was lacking was there was too little focus on how to train people on improving their CQ.  This I believe is a result of two factors: (1) there was not enough time, I think one more half day would have been beneficial and (2) the fact that there was such a wide range of participants who intend on using this assessment for different purposes.  I do realize that a person planning to use the assessment to train undergraduate students will differ from post-graduate students, multi-national executives, future expatriates, prospective global leaders and multi-cultural team members.  Covering all of these possible scenarios is a very time consuming task.  For these reasons, it seems that the Level 1 certification revolved around the basic understanding of CQ and its research, as well as, knowledge of the Multi-Rater Assessment and corresponding feedback report.  We quickly touched upon several training methods and activities that can be used to improve a person’s CQ, but it seems the bulk of this will be saved for Level 2.  (On a side note, I feel lucky to have taken the course in Singapore where we spent an entire semester focusing on how to improve our CQ.  This gives me an excellent leg up in knowing many activities and training tools that are effective in enhancing a person’s CQ).

With all that being said, I look forward to the Level 2 certification where we can continue our discussion of CQ, while having the opportunity to focus on how to train people to improve their CQ in our respective fields.

It was an engaging certification and I am glad that I had the opportunity to participate.  I am grateful for Dave and his enthusiasm for cultural intelligence.  It is thanks to people like him that CQ is now gaining worldwide attention.  The certification was particularly encouraging to me, as a recent graduate with a keen interest in CQ, as I am now aware of several more professions that are tied to cultural understanding.  It gives me hope that I will be able to find a career that will allow me to continue to pursue my passion of CQ.

Stay tuned for Part II where I will discuss the Multi-Rater Assessment.

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