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Definitions and Terminology

8 October, 2015 - 11:55

Throughout the book, the following terms will be used. Sometimes they are used interchangeably, sometimes alone, and sometimes together. Additionally, this book makes a clear distinction between management and leadership and managers and leaders, a difference that is outlined in Culturally Intelligent Leadership Matters.

  • Culture: shared beliefs, values, and assumptions of a group of people who learn from one another and teach to others that their behaviors, attitudes, and perspectives are the correct ways to think, act, and feel. 1
  • Cross-Cultural: involving two or more cultures
  • Diversity: distinct and unlike elements or qualities (interests, people, ideas, perspectives, ability, region, etc.); can be visible and invisible
  • Intercultural: between or among people of different cultures
  • Intracultural: within the same culture
  • Multicultural: many or several cultures
  • Intercultural competence: ability to successfully interact with people of different cultural backgrounds

We are living in exciting times that call for courageous and authentic leadership in leading through blurred boundaries. The changes we see are opportunities for growth and development as individuals, organizations, and communities. We have an opportunity to identify and clarify our interpretation of the world through our relationships with one another. We can seize the chance to identify our blind spots and to uncover the stories we tell about ourselves and why we can or cannot interact with others. We have the potential to explore our work around cultures in a way that uncovers the hidden routines and habitual behaviors that contribute negatively to human relationships.