Cristina Ho

Book Cover: Discover Cultural Intelligence: Your New Superpower

La incompetencia cultural tiene un alto costo.

La diversidad por sí sola no es suficiente. Solo una organización culturalmente inteligente puede cosechar los beneficios de un grupo de talento más amplio: mayor innovación, mayor rendimiento del equipo, expansión del mercado, crecimiento sostenible y rentabilidad.

Para conseguir el trabajo de tus sueños, ser un empresario próspero o establecerte como un líder sobresaliente, la inteligencia cultural es indispensable para tu éxito.

En DISCOVER CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE: YOUR NEW SUPERPOWER, Cristina Ho alienta el desarrollo de la competencia intercultural, una habilidad que muchas veces se pasa por alto mientras se esfuerza por ser competitivo en el mundo actual que está en constante cambio. El libro presenta los diversos elementos culturales a través de anécdotas de la autora e ideas de especialistas globales en varios campos.

Con este libro, estarás abriendo la puerta para

  • Explorar el concepto de cultura.
  • Tomar conciencia de las percepciones que las personas de otras culturas puedan tener de ti, y las que tú tienes de los demás.
  • Aumentar tu atención sobre el papel de las emociones en la comunicación interpersonal e intrapersonal.
  • Adquirir nuevas perspectivas sobre cómo la cultura influye en tu entorno de trabajo y tus relaciones.
  • Obtener ideas sobre cómo manejar nuevas experiencias culturales.





It happened at a Buddhist ceremony.

A nun was officiating in Mandarin. But because I speak Cantonese and Hakka, and barely any Mandarin, it was like listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher.

My first time witnessing a Buddhist ritual, I understood nothing of what was going on, but was super curious, absorbing every detail…

The images on the backdrop, the offerings on the altar, the ritual’s implements…

Everything looked familiar, but not quite. I kept looking for parallels with temples I’d been to before.

It was an assault on the senses. The burning incense. The alternation of sermon and chants. The heat coming from the outside every time someone opened the door. Bright red and yellow wherever my eyes rested. I didn’t know what to pay attention to.

I heard a bell, and the nun switched from speaking to singing. Both the bell and her voice sounded exactly like a part of the Catholic Mass.

“Who borrowed from whom?” I wondered of the prayer beads.

The group resumed, repeating three long sets of chants over and over. The assembly intoned in perfect unison, everyone moving their hands in time with the words. Perhaps my senses were overwhelmed. Or, maybe, I was falling into a hypnotic state.

That’s when I had a vision.

Time stopped, and I suddenly saw; it was a split second that felt momentous. The Asian faces of the worshippers blurred, then became Native American, Caucasian, African…

I saw the universality of the congregants’ movements and expressions. How, underneath everything we think separates us—ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender—we all share the same emotions, the same needs, the same motivations, the same fears, the same hopes.

We are all one.

At that moment I understood with my soul. And it stunned me. I saw how, throughout history, mankind moved around and interacted. Sometimes through peaceful trade. Other times through brutal wars. No matter the circumstance, each event brought about a transfer of ideas and culture; influences, great and small, that continue to shape and reshape the world. This revelation confirmed my inner calling to be a Cultural Intelligence advocate.

The idea of our shared humanity is not new. But as much as I recognized the oneness of humankind—that we are all equal and interconnected—I classified and compartmentalized everything into neat boxes. Even myself.

This is the Panamanian side of me. That’s the Chinese part. That other piece is American.

I am truly East meets West. It was difficult to reconcile those differences as a teenager figuring out my identity. I later learned to embrace all my contradictions, but only after years of searching. Because of my curiosity about our planet and the people who inhabit it, I love to travel, read books, and watch documentaries. Without planning for it, I found not only myself but also an understanding how culture shapes us all.

Each and every one of us engages with life in our own way. The experiences in our journey—a new cuisine, a skyline, an artisan’s handicraft, a business transaction—show us the world we have created.

How you feel about these experiences is unique to you because of your thoughts. And your thoughts are shaped by your culture. How the person next to you sees theirs depends on their own unique prism. Unaligned perspectives are potential causes of conflict.

Any issue can have many sides, so the more perspective you add, individually or collectively, the more complete a picture emerges. Consider different viewpoints and you will discover endless ways of doing things.

As I pondered on how we can bridge cultural divides, I thought: “How awesome would it be if we all had a new superpower, something like a seventh sense, that helps us see things with multiple lenses and makes us adaptable to varying situations?”

This superpower is already latent within us. All we have to do is find and develop it.

This superpower is Cultural Intelligence.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, an employee climbing the corporate ladder, a government official, an exchange student, or any citizen of this world, Cultural Intelligence will boost your ability to cultivate meaningful relationships. It will help you thrive and attain your goals.

In these pages, I’ll take you on a tour through my personal stories and insights from global professionals working in their fields of expertise as we explore foods and drink, work cultures, diversity, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict management, and more.

Welcome and enjoy! Mi casa es tu casa.


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