Leaders and Leadership

Which quizzes did you take?

A. I took the quizzes on Working Globally across Cultures.

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B. I selected the United States

Results included in the Appendices

Were you surprised at your score?

At first, I felt that I would do terribly and would get a lower score than the expected. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when I managed to score a passing score of a 9 out of 10 in the quizzes and a 6 out of 6 respectively.

Strengths in Inter-cultural Awareness

In order to be competent in intercultural awareness, individuals must understand the social customs and systems of the different cultures. One of the strengths I have in the area of inter-cultural awareness is communication. Ideally, the ability to understand, use language and to select an appropriate behavior in different contexts contributed to my social skills and the ability to manage interactions. In other words, being a competent communicator has significantly helped me to communicate and deal with different people in diverse situations and added to my strength in intercultural awareness. Another strength in intercultural awareness is personality strength. As Jandt notes, self-concept, self-disclosure, self-monitoring, and social relaxation are some of the personal traits that help improve intercultural awareness. In my case, I have mastered the skill of openly and appropriately revealing information about myself to others, which most of the time get others to open up to me too. 

Weaknesses in Inter-Cultural Awareness

The weakness I have identified is not being sensitive enough to other people’s cultures, which can be a block to my effectiveness when interacting with others and doing business. As O’ Reilly notes, it is critically important for individuals and organizations to demonstrate cultural sensitivity for them to achieve their goals, especially when connecting and working with people from all over the world.

Steps to Improve Cultural Awareness

In the United States and the rest of the world, firms are expanding across the borders to increase their market share, which means that organizations are now working with a diverse group of employees and partners. Business leaders and employees are increasingly encouraged to improve their cultural awareness as well as cultural sensitivity because a lack of it can limit the ability of an organization to develop its business across international borders. Ideally, in its most basic definition, culture is often described as a set of inner values and beliefs held by groups of people and the obvious impact the values and beliefs have on the people. Cultural awareness forms the foundation of communication and the ability of an individual to step back and be aware of their cultural values, beliefs, and perceptions. This means humans are a product of their innermost beliefs and values and not only their geographic locations. The difference in attitudes towards relationships, time, and work are some of the examples that can be used to elaborate cultural differences.

Consistently and in order to improve my cultural awareness, the first step will be committing to increase my knowledge on facts about various people, and their cultures including issues such as their traditions, foods, fashion, political, and economic systems. Virtually, as O’ Reilly (2013) notes, this can be accomplished by reading the newspapers and international websites, as well as engaging colleagues with different cultures to get first-hand information about their cultures.

The other step is by increasing my practical awareness by reflecting on the differences visible or invisible in various cultural groups. For instance, O’Reilly points that individuals should attempt to identify cultural preferences among colleagues or friends as well as ways in which the complex or subliminal factors differentiate cultural groups. Through observation, individuals can easily identify the diversity in different cultures and embed it in their system.

The last step is to apply what I have learned by reviewing my working relationship and opportunities to gather more cultural awareness. As O’Reilly notes, this can be accomplished by participating in international assignments when opportunities arise to gain further insight into other people cultural backgrounds.

Importance of Cultural Awareness to Managers

It is not easy for managers to be successful, especially when dealing with a diverse workforce with different cultures. Cultural awareness allows individuals to understand the difference between an individual with others from different backgrounds and geographical locations. As O’Reilly (2013) highlights, multinational corporations account for a considerable share in the international industrial investment. The organizations employ millions of people, with thousands of foreign affiliates. Consequently, O’Reilly notes that within the multinational organization’s majority of the individuals interact with colleagues with distinctive backgrounds and cultures from their own. In this context, the intense underlying, and cultural differences encompassing traditions, religious beliefs, and values among different individuals are some of the challenges faced by managers. Robbins, Bergman, and Stagg (2014) also note that, although globalization has blurred cultural borders, the increase in diversity within the workplace has created many problems as critics view globalization as a euphemism for westernization. Thus, it is important for managers to improve their cultural awareness to understand the best ways to manage a global workforce.

With the current globalization of businesses, diversity in the workplace has increased and cultural awareness has become an important business tools in almost every industry. Understanding people cultures allows individuals to connect and enhance the working relationship. It is also critical to demonstrate cultural sensitivity within the business environment to attain organization goals.

Appendices 1

Appendices 2


Jandt, F. E. (2013). An introduction to intercultural communication: Identities in a global community. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.

O’Reilly, C. (2013). Why is cultural intelligence important? Trainingzone. Retrieved from: https://www.trainingzone.co.uk/develop/talent/why-is-cultural-intelligence-important

Robbins, S., Bergman, R., Stagg, I., & Coulter, M. (2014). Management VS. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.

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