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David Livermore

David Livermore

David Livermore is a thought leader in cultural intelligence (CQ) and global leadership and the author of "Leading with Cultural Intelligence". He is president and partner at the Cultural Intelligence Center in East Lansing, Michigan and a visiting research fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

@DavidLivermore website

Emotional differences across cultures

12 Dec 2016

Different cultures appear to have very different ways of showing emotion and managing feelings. But in reality we all have much more in common than meets the eye when it comes to how we handle some key human emotions.

Weird, rude, or different?

07 Nov 2016

Cross-cultural encounters can sometime be very awkward. Here are a few suggestions for a culturally intelligent way to respond to those difficult cross-cultural situations.

Overcoming diversity fatigue

16 Sep 2016

Too many diversity initiatives fail because they’re based on a punitive, ‘shame on you’ posture. What we need is a strategic, hope-filled approach emphasizing what we all gain from more diverse and inclusive workplaces and communities.

How stress can lower your cultural intelligence

23 Aug 2016

Working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds is rewarding, but it can also be tough going. And the more you’re under stress, the harder it becomes and the more a small behavioral difference can become a major irritation.

Measuring and improving cultural intelligence

01 Aug 2016

The research behind cultural intelligence (CQ) continues to expand. Here are some of the highlights along with some useful books and video clips for diving in further or introducing them to others.

Adapt, but don’t overdo it

18 May 2016

Fusion cooking is a great metaphor for bringing out the best from a multicultural team because it combines ingredients from different cultural traditions while preserving distinct cultural flavors and traditions.

When does cultural immersion go too far?

18 Apr 2016

I’m a big advocate of getting to know a culture up close and moving beyond surface-level encounters. But I’m beginning to think that I ought to give up some of the cultural experiences I’d like to have because they may do more harm than good.

Cultural intelligence and the power of attention

10 Dec 2015

Giving undue attention to negative feelings shrinks your world and your breadth of perspective. Focus on the positive and you’ll expand your view. This is the power of attention. And in culturally diverse teams, it’s absolutely critical.

Dealing with a different sense of urgency

12 Nov 2015

One of the biggest frustrations when working across cultures is a different sense of urgency, follow-through, and deadlines. Whatever your relationship with time, here are some guidelines to address this challenge.

The dilemmas of a travelling white guy

20 Oct 2015

When I’m travelling, I’m routinely given the best places to sit in restaurants, granted access to exclusive lounges I haven’t paid for and escorted round queues simply because I’m a well-dressed, white American male.

What diversity matters most?

23 Sep 2015

Diversity of thought, work style, function and age are all important forms of difference. But not all diversity is equal. The two types of diversity that matter most are visible diversity and under-representation.

Racist comments, Facebook rants and cultural intelligence

14 Aug 2015

What should you do when you run up against friends, family members, colleagues or clients who make little effort to engage with others with any degree of cultural intelligence?

The business case for cultural intelligence

07 Jul 2015

Whether it’s expanding in emerging markets, avoiding an embarrassing cultural faux pas, or attracting best talent, the ability to work effectively across cultures addresses a burgeoning number of organizational concerns.

10 tips for negotiating across cultures

11 May 2015

Regardless of the cultural context, the objective in negotiation is to reach an agreement that mutually satisfies both parties’ interests. Accomplishing that across cultures requires a high level of cultural intelligence.

Is the problem cultural or something else?

16 Feb 2015

Cross-cultural communication can be fraught with difficulties. And few things demonstrate cultural intelligence more strongly than being able to tell when a problem is cultural and when it’s not - and then deciding how to respond.

Cultural intelligence in an age of terrorism

13 Jan 2015

There are no easy answers to the hatred and rage that drives someone to kill a fellow human begin in cold blood simply because they disagree with them. So what is a culturally intelligent response to the horrific events in Paris last week?

Respect is not enough

20 Oct 2014

I’m often asked, “isn’t cultural intelligence basically a matter of respect?” But the trouble is that we can’t always judge people's intent through their behavior. And moreover, the greater the cultural distance, the more likely your respect won’t be interpreted as such.

So I'm biased. Now what?

12 Sep 2014

We’re all biased. But an awareness of these biases doesn’t automatically lead to change or stop them creeping into everyday decisions. If you want to navigate through cultural situations with both respect and effectiveness, you need a plan to improve your cultural intelligence.

Cultural misunderstandings and the elephant in the room

15 Aug 2014

One of the biggest causes of misunderstandings and conflict in multicultural teams is the difference between direct and indirect communication styles. So how can those who like to get straight to the point work harmoniously with others who expect issues to be addressed more subtly?

10 tips for more culturally intelligent travel

09 Jun 2014

It's been said that "international travelers are like dogs in an art museum. They see everything and appreciate nothing." But it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are 10 ways to improve your travel experiences.

Sit still to improve your cultural intelligence

13 May 2014

Reflection is a powerful tool for self-improvement. Sitting still and giving yourself time to think can help you get smarter, healthier and more productive. It can even help you improve your cultural intelligence.

The right sort of travel can boost your career

14 Apr 2014

As we know, travel broadens the mind. And according to a new study, adapting to and learning about new cultures can also boost your job prospects But it's important to note that not all travel experiences are created equal!

More from David

Don't treat your customers the way you want to be treated

24 Mar 2014

Yes. You heard us right. Because 'customer service' can mean different things to different people. So what might seem like good customer service when viewed from one cultural perspective can actually be harmful in another.

Ugly ex-pats and cultural intelligence

19 Feb 2014

British banker Anton Casey ought to know all about cultural intelligence. His lack of it saw him flee Singapore after making spectacularly insensitive comments about his adopted home. But beyond the stupidity of one man, the point is that CQ is more than just a "nice-to-have".

Culturally intelligent chit-chat

14 Jan 2014

Whatever culture you're operating in, small talk matters. In fact your overall likeability and trustworthiness is more likely to be based on what you say in the elevator or over lunch than what you say in a formal meeting.

Why you shouldn't adapt to other cultures

07 Nov 2013

Being culturally intelligent doesn't mean you need to be a cultural chameleon. In fact retaining our differences can actually make us stronger, and trying to adapt to another culture is sometimes inauthentic or even insulting.

What Facebook tells us about the future of leadership

15 Oct 2013

Hierarchy-agnostic, fast, autonomous and risk-taking, Facebook is also the first Millennial-run company in the Fortune 500. So how it approaches leadership development today is how others will approach it tomorrow.

Four myths of global leadership

12 Sep 2013

The World isn't flat. So leadership can't be just about the values and style of the leader. To lead successfully across cultures and break the ties of ethnocentricity requires a real understanding of the values and preferences of followers.

Assessing cultural intelligence by how people talk

17 Jun 2013

You can tell a lot about someone's level of cultural intelligence (CQ) by what they say and how they say it and whether they adjust the way they speak in light of the people with whom they're communicating.

Cultural intelligence and international travel

20 May 2013

It seem obvious that international travel can increase your cultural intelligence (CQ). But in some circumstances, international experience can actually decrease CQ and perpetuate ethnocentrism.

Why you need an empty chair at important meetings

15 Apr 2013

Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, frequently leaves one seat empty at the company's most important meetings. It's there to remind his fellow executives about the most important person in the room - the customer.

Why do Chinese businessmen insist on getting you drunk?

22 Mar 2013

Talk to almost anyone who has worked in China and they'll tell you about people who insisted on getting them drunk. So what's behind this custom and what's a culturally intelligent way of responding to it?

The culturally intelligent organization

27 Feb 2013

We know what a culturally intelligent individual looks like. We have more than 15 years of research that answers that question. But what are the characteristics of a culturally intelligent organization?

How smart phones lower your cultural intelligence

08 Jan 2013

Whether we accept it or not, our obsession with device-driven multi-tasking and always-on connectivity is reducing our productivity and effectiveness. And this has profound relevance, too, for cross-cultural effectiveness.