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Cultural Intelligence in the Library Workplace
An Infopeople Online Learning Course
Instructor: Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran
- Is your library serving an increasingly diverse community?
- Do you want to improve your interactions with and understanding of different cultures?
Our cultural values influence our own biases and interactions and our unconscious biases can then influence our interaction with others. Cultural awareness and understanding our unconscious biases are critical first steps towards improving our job performance, however, we cannot stop there. Awareness alone does not guarantee success, but the ultimate question is how to take that awareness and put it into action by using cultural intelligence in order to ensure these biases do not influence judgments about others. This directly affects a library's inclusive work environment and the strength of the organizational culture.
Cultural intelligence is the ability to function effectively across various cultural contexts (Ang & Van Dyne, 2008). Cultural intelligence is extremely valuable and individuals and organizations that utilize and improve their cultural intelligence may experience:
- More effective cross‐cultural adaptability and decision‐making
- Enhanced job performance
- Improved creativity and innovation
Please Note: All course participants will be required to take an online cultural intelligence assessment during the first week of the course. Access information will be provided by the instructor during the first week of the course. Each participant will need to pay $25 (this cost is not included in the course fee) to take the assessment online. A feedback report will be provided to each participant via email.
Course Description: This four-week online course will utilize an assessment, readings, recorded presentations, examples, resources and an online meeting to help you develop a better understanding of cultural intelligence. You will be able to assess your own biases and strategies to combat them. You will learn to apply cultural intelligence at work and beyond. As part of the course, you will be encouraged to ask questions and participate in discussions with others.
Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:
- Week 1: What is unconscious bias?
- Identify the sources of unconscious bias and assess how bias can influence interactions with others.
- Develop strategies to combat and manage bias. Demonstrate behaviors within the workplace to counter unconscious bias.
- Week 2: What is cultural intelligence?
- Explain cultural intelligence
- Think holistically about the challenges and acquire skills and behaviors that can be put to use in cross-cultural interactions
- Week 3: Mapping cultural differences and cultural value orientations
- The ten cultural value dimensions
- Develop and apply cultural intelligence at work and beyond.
- Week 4: Cultural intelligence or cultural quotient (CQ) strategy and action
- Increase self-awareness of the impact of culture upon one's roles
- Creating a personal CQ development plan
Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2 ½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains a recorded presentation, readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: This is intended for a broad level and categories of information professionals from staff to middle management to directors. Anyone that interacts with diverse communities including stakeholders, clients, and colleagues will benefit.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at: infopeople.org/training/online_learning_details.
After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.
Keywords: cultural intelligence, communication and interpersonal skills