I started my internship at Konligo 1 month ago in Marketing and Communication. I was challenged to write an article and after some deliberation I realized a great topic would be to focus on cultural diversity. In our team we have Ahmed from Egypt, Cyril from France, Simon from the Netherlands, Arnaud from Belgium, Aushim with background from Bangladesh, Lara half Portuguese and me from Portugal. We find ourselves having conversations about our different experiences and cultures which brings a new perspective to our work. This brings me to my next point.

We are no longer strangers to concepts such as IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional intelligence), however a  new wave of social research has introduced cultural intelligence. Culture is part of what builds our identity. It is extremely present in our lives, it affects gestures, actions, opinions, who we are and how we act. Being that we live in a multicultural world it’s important to understand how to navigate this diversity and how to make it an advantage. This is where cultural intelligence comes into play. Experts define it as the skill to understand different behaviors and being able to work across cultures while adapting to the diversity. It is important because it creates bridges and helps in dealing with unfamiliar scenarios.

Julia Midleton said in a TEDTalk that cultural intelligence will change the world. I found it to be a huge affirmation but the longer I sat with this thought I realized that it could in fact be true. Cultural competence creates an environment where everyone is welcome, builds integration and maximizes the productivity of any interaction.

And how do we work on our cultural intelligence?

We educate ourselves, the first step is to realize there is much more out there, so much to learn and so many different cultures, and just because it is different it does not mean it is wrong.

It might seem simple but we only realize how culturally challenged we are until we have contact with different people from different backgrounds. We should meet people from different communities and social groups so we can actively work to eliminate cultural intolerance.

When it comes to a company’s health within a team it’s important to take into consideration  open communication and acceptance. Konligo tries to dedicate time in cultivating a good work environment, liberal and autonomous. It’s crucial to encourage psychological safety and equal speaking time as well as inclusivity in decision taking. Part of this also means to take into account the cultural differences of our team members, who come from different backgrounds and different parts of the world. By creating a culturally diverse team we want to broaden our own perspectives and create an inclusive team where everybody feels welcome.

Especially for companies in the event sector it is crucial to take into account cultural diversity of its (potential) visitors in this increasingly multicultural world. Cultural Intelligence will be increasingly important to attract a large enough audience and to effectively engage with them.

If everyone is open minded and works on understanding diversity, perhaps we CAN change the world and make it a better one, or we can at least organize better events.