top of page
Understanding the importance of cultural and adversity quotient


Nowadays, cultural quotient (CQ) is one of the more important intelligences to have as they are highly regarded by large companies when they hire employees. Therefore I will speak of how CQ can be measured, enhanced and its importance. 


David Livermore, a frequent adviser and speaker to government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and charitable organizations describes cultural intelligence as the ability to be effective across various cultural contexts—including national, ethnic, organizational, generational, ideological, and much more.


“CQ- The Test Of Your Potential for Cross-Cultural Success” an article in the magazine Forbes talks about how CQ is measured and enhanced. A community of international scholars has actually developed an academically tested scale for measuring four CQ capabilities.   (


How is CQ measured and enhanced?


Increasing a person’s CQ begins by assessing that person in terms of four distinct CQ capabilities. The four capabilities are similar to those measured by emotional and social intelligence tests but are specifically related to cultural challenges. They are:

  • CQ Drive (motivation), the person’s interest in and confidence at functioning effectively in culturally diverse settings. Studies have shown that without eagerness to take on the challenges of multicultural work, leaders face a high rate of failure. 

  • CQ Knowledge (cognition), the person’s knowledge of how cultures are similar and different. The point is not to be an expert on every culture but to understand core cultural differences and their effects on everyday business.


  • CQ Strategy (meta-cognition), how the person makes sense of culturally diverse experiences. This comes into play when making judgments about one’s own or others’ thought processes. It makes possible effective planning in the context of cultural differences.


  • CQ Action (behavior), the person’s capability to adapt his or her behavior to different cultures. It requires having a flexible repertoire of responses to suit various situations while still remaining true to one’s self.


Some MBA programs mention the combination of IQ, EQ and CQ (cultural quotient) as three key types of intelligence to purse and own. You can try this CQ self-test site:

In everyday life, you can see examples of people with extremely high IQ who are not successful in their work due to the lack of other types of intelligence:

·       A clever manager in a manufacturing company is unable to control his anger when faced with mistakes made by his team. He yells at his workers, his team fears him and both he and his team are unproductive.


·       A smart computer programmer is required to work with other programmers on a large project. Even though he has exceptional programming skills, he is unable to communicate effectively with other team members. His inability to communicate with others limits his chances to go to the next level. 


·       An intelligent researcher is promoted to a management position within her research facility. Even though her research skills are excellent, she is very shy and afraid to speak in front of a group. With her lack of confidence, she is unable to lead the group and the overall result of the research facility is disappointing. 


In all of these cases, you see individuals with superior IQs who are not successful because of problems related to their emotions: lack of emotional control, lack of communication skills and lack of leadership skills. The realization that emotional control was critical to one’s success led to the concept of EQ. 


The last topic that I would like to talk about is adversity quotient (AQ), especially for those that are part of the Y generation. Many parents have to take their kids to job interviews or the kids themselves change jobs so frequently without perseverance. Understanding your adversity quotient and overcoming your fears is quite important. It says a lot about you, your drive against obstacles obstructing your endeavors, and how resilient you’ll be during trying circumstances. Whyis it that some people can weather personal or business hardships better than others?Why is it that some people experience a lifetime of success while others experience a lifetime of helplessness and perceive themselves as victims?

The answer, according to Dr. Paul Stoltz, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PEAK Learning, Inc. a leading expert on human resilience, lies in our ability to deal with adversity on a day-to-day basis. (


Hopefully, through this article, our readers will know more about themselves, how to adapt to other cultures and how to be a good team player, ensuring one to be a step closer to success. 


And there is a IQ + EQ + personality self-test site you can look into:


Communication intelligent assessment:
Creativity Quotient test:


Business intelligent test:

We've gathered quizzes to test your knowledge of business intelligence (BI).You'll find quizzes about business processes and best practices as well as C-levelinformation about business applications.

Passion quotient test:


Just the lack of EQ makes a big difference in our everyday life. What would happen if we take into account every type of intelligence together?

bottom of page