Cultural incompetence is like a shadow personality; it creeps up on you when you least expect or even realize it. When you presume and judge, you cloud your vision by having wrongful perceptions about people. So, if you are not globally competent or strive to be, chances are that you are biased without intent.
Worldwide Consensus Definition of Global Competence:
"Having an open mind while actively seeking to understand cultural norms and expectations of others, and leveraging this gained knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments."
~ William Hunter, Ed.D., 2004
Are you globally competent?
Take the quiz and find out!
1. When I work with people of foreign origins, I
a. evaluate them as colleagues.
b. help them as colleagues.
c. dislike them as colleagues.
d. see them as colleagues.
2. I imitate people’s accents --
a. for fun.
c. without thinking.
d. why not.
3. Will you lunch with a famous dictator, known for disrespecting women?
a. No, never.
c. Yes, I will get to know his thoughts.
d. How fun. I will argue with him.
4. If you eat out twice a week, where will you go?
a. I go to the same restaurants I like.
b. I try new restaurants.
c. I follow reviews of restaurants.
d. I go where my friends go.
5. You see a movie with untraditional scenes (ex LGBT pictures). What is your reaction?
a. I rush out of the theater, asking myself, "What the heck was that about?"
b. I think to myself, "Hmm, I wonder what that is really like?"
c. I decide to ignore the scenes.
d. I try to see the theme of the movie without overthinking the particular scenes.
6. A foreign-looking woman shows up at your social event.
a. I decide she does not speak English and avoid talking to her.
b. I pay attention to her and see if she needs help.
c. I interact with her as usual.
d. I try to find out if she is an alien.
7. How attentive are you to others’ feelings and needs at a social setting?
a. I have to be the life of the party.
b. I keep it to my circle of friends.
c. I try talking to everyone.
d. I go off and ignore my friends.
8. How religiously tolerant are you?
a. I only make friends with similar religious beliefs.
b. I am friends with people of all religions.
c. I think some religions are stupid.
d. I stick to my belief and think people should have the rights to their faith.
9. Are you a hater?
a. I hate my boss.
b. I hate my step-mom.
c. I hate when my life is obstructed.
d. I hate everybody.
10. Do you feel superior to others?
a. Of course, I am the best.
b. Yes, my family is the best.
c. Yes, my countrymen are the best in the world.
d. Not particularly, though I am proud of who I am.
1. a/1, b/3, c/2, d/4
2. a/1, b/4, c/2, d/3
3. a/1, b/2, c/4, d/3
4. a/2, b/4, c/3, d/1
5. a/1, b/3, c/2, d/4
6. a/1, b/3, c/4, d/2
7. a/1, b/3, c/4, d/2
8. a/1, b/3, c/2, d/4
9. a/3, b/2, c/4, d/1
10.a/1,b/2, c/3, d/4
Now, add your scores and see where you land on the global-competence spectrum:
(32-40) Competent Adventurers. You're strong enough to be open to experience and people. Weakness creates ignorance, racism, xenophobia, and cruelty. The more self-assured you are, the more open you are to new ideas and different people.
(20-31) Half-Competent . You’re not too far from the path to global competence, but you hesitate to let go of your old ideas and habits. Learn to look at others’ perspectives. You will be on your way to new grounds in no time.
(10-19) Followers. You aren’t thinking for yourself. Do you belong to a certain political party or social club just because your parents do? Be careful not to let yourself get too comfortable in your own zone. Try something new, put yourself in others’ shoes, and travel a bit--maybe you’ll see how wide and beautiful the world actually is someday.