What is Cultural Competence?
Culture competence can simply be explained as the knowledge and understanding of other groups different from the one that an individual ascribes to. The groups are majorly, ethnic, racial, minority and cultural in nature. Getting an understanding of these different types of groups, it is important that an individual learns about their way of life and particularly their background, customs, and perspectives. Some of these aspects of cultural engagement can be learnt through examination of the history of the particular group of interest. Cultural competence is important as it enables people to behave in a civilized manner when interacting with other people from the society, who have a different cultural background from theirs.
How Is Cultural Competence Advantageous in the Workplace?
Today's workplaces are made up of diversity as most of the companies, especially, intentional ones employ people of different nationalities, language and dialects, and who are differently cultured. People with these massive differences may find it difficult to interact in a work place due to their differences in believe systems that they hold, also due to differences in the way perceive each other. The management also finds it also difficult to make some decisions that are vital in workplace because of these diverse differences in the work groups. For instance, deciding on which is the official language to use in a French speaking country, when the company is international and its mother company is based in the United States where the language is English as the managers may be English speaking and the larger population may be French speaking natives. Consequently, there happens to be a language barrier and difficult in making of decisions. However, with the knowledge of cultural competence, some of the issues that make diversity management in workplace difficult are flattened. Some of these issues that make management of diversity in a workplace difficult include stereotyping. Stereotyping entails to the beliefs and expectations that people have towards a certain members of a group, as a result of them being part of the group. Prejudice is one of the major stereotypes that consequently lead to discrimination of a certain group in the work place. Cultural competence then becomes pivotal in the work place as it assists in the identification of these prejudices and stereotypes and work against them.
What Two or Three Strategies Can You Use To Develop Cultural Competence?
The first and most common strategy that an individual can embrace to realize cultural competence is that of studying other cultures and customs. It is possible to get informed of another group's way of life through engaging in educative courses such as for anthropology or religion. Also, one can learn of a group through exploring their history, as it is rich in their cultural practices and beliefs which are important in appreciating their cultural heritage, which is their source of pride.
The second strategy that an individual may embrace is travelling across the globe, and experience the culture of different groups first hand, other than receiving second hand information from other sources. It can be possible to explore others culture when an individual makes a choice to travel for vacation, with enough time so that they can experience the richness of the culture that they come into contact.
Lastly, an individual can decide to participate in community service as a way of experiencing different way of doing things from what they have got used to. In a community service, it is most probable that those involved are people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Interacting with these people, who have different perspectives and beliefs, is likely to prepare an individual to integrate well in a work place that is made up of people with diverse cultural backgrounds.
What Strategies Can You Use To Become More at Ease With Differences and Diversity?
In my case, I choose studying the culture and customs of other cultural groups so that I can be at ease with the differences and diversity. I would love to know the way of life of each of the cultural groups that I find fascinating, and get to understand why is it that they behave or carry out their way of life in the manner that they do. I would love too to explore their history, so that I would learn of the richness of their cultural heritage, which acts as their source of pride making them to feel superior to all others. I would equally love to travel the world and experience the cultural differences first hand, as that would prepare me into working in a multicultural environment and especially in a multinational company which has been my objective.
What Does Your Ideal Workplace Look Like? How Would You Like To Be Treated? How Should You Treat Others?
My ideal work place is a multinational company that is placed overseas, in a country that is of a different language and dialect from that of my own. It is made up of more than 5 nationalities, and over 40 languages and dialects. That shows that there are differences in thought and belief system among all those practicing in the company. However, I would like to be treated as if I was a member of the group which in turn gives me a sense of belonging. Equally, I believe that I should treat others at my work place with the a positive attitude, as my equals and not as if their culture is below that which I subscribe to.
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