Essay Example on Cultural Competency: A Priceless Asset for Understanding Others

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1441 Words
Date:  2023-04-24

I think cultural competency is a priceless asset. I find that it is necessary that I understand some basic aspects of who I am so I can have a solid platform from which I can try to understand and explore others' way of looking at the world. It would provide me with a well-grounded perspective because I would have come closer to understanding why I see things the way I do and I would hence be more accepting of other peoples' perspectives because I would be aware that there is an underlying perspective that shapes their understanding and their reaction to the world around them.

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This cultural competency self-assessment has sparked my interest in the subject, and also some confidence since there is now a structured approach I can follow in my attempt. I have always been fascinated by the subject but have never encountered a standard by which to venture into other cultures. I have done my exploration mainly by allowing myself to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, but have never dug deep as I have often feared offending them. While I have always seen this fear as "sensitivity", I now recognize that it is more of a barrier. I now find I have to challenge myself more and really try to understand why I choose sensitivity over exploration. I now sort of see sensitivity as requiring a deeper understanding of the nuances that characterize my interactions. It would make more sense to be sensitive to something I understand better. I would have to raise my awareness of others' cultures and perspective in order to be truly sensitive.

This self-assessment has reminded me that I live in a diverse community and that I should look outward for a lot that I obviously do not possess. I had very little to do with how I got to identify with my culture, but I now have a role to play in expanding my worldview and trying to understand the different perspectives that exist in my community and beyond.

Understanding my own perspective is important since I have always taken it for granted that I am who I am, never digging deeper to explore how my life experience has informed my own sense of self-identity, my social preferences, and my tastes. A good example is religion. I would like to explore my history and the history of my ancestors in order to find out why I am the Christian that I am now. Faith is a powerful aspect of our lives in that it seeks to instruct us on how we should see the world, but where did my faith come from? What of the others' faith? Why should I heed the instructions it gives? What do other faiths instruct on perspective? Which, if any, is right? Do they agree? Do they have to?

What actions can I take, or have I taken, to increase my cultural competency?

Improve Communication and Language Barriers

I now recognize that language is key to understanding others' culture. There are words and concepts that do not exist in my primary language, English, that would help me advance my understanding of non-explicit information from their environments, which includes a lot of meaningful gestures and other social cues. Learning another language will inevitably involve learning about a different culture. I expect to pick up clues about that culture both during classes and through meaningful practical experiences. I hope to develop new ways of understanding the culture by my own analysis of the cultural stereotypes as I learn new ways of thinking and acquire new behavior. I expect that the instructor will facilitate critical thinking about the stereotypes of the different culture as relates to food, conversation styles and appearance (Sharifian, 2014).

Understand my Own Cultural Identity

I will start by exploring my own historical roots. I will delve into an active study of the beliefs and values that shape my own ethnic group (Weigl, 2009). Self-assessment should awaken me to the pervasive role that my culture plays in my life. It will also make me more aware of my own biases while at the same time sparking unbiased curiosity about the other culture. I also hope to have some fun as I do so (April, 2018).

Get to know the Community where I study and Work

As the world around me becomes increasingly diverse it becomes clear to me that in order to build cultural competence, I need to try to understand and appreciate more culture and to establish relationships with others who are from cultures other than mine. I need to build private alliances with individuals from different cultural groups.

Each cultural group has its own unique strengths and perspectives and I believe that I and the community can benefit from this both in my studies and in my anticipated line of work. I need to acquire a wide range of ideas and learn new customs and tap into their wisdom to solve my problems and enrich the lives of the community. I believe embracing another culture will give me fresh perspectives and help me find new ways of dealing with tough problems.

Get to know my Colleagues' Families

I plan to extend some of my relationships with my colleagues to include both our families. I will naturally start with inviting them to interact with my family, firstly to gain their trust, and also help to expand my own family's cultural exposure so that we can share in the experience. I hope this will help synergize my cultural competence efforts and make it easier for me since I expect my family's cultural competence will reflect in my own.

Attend Diversity-Focused Workshops, Seminars, and Conferences

Attending meetings that focus on diversity should be useful in helping me to explore the different parameters that exist in defining cultural competence, and acquiring an informed perspective which would help me define the variables that I would apply in a multicultural context. Listening to people from diverse backgrounds would also help me analyze their perspectives and help me to better understand the underlying cultural nuances that inform their perspectives. I would also expect that attendees at such meetings would themselves be from diverse backgrounds and that interacting with them will add to my experience in relating with individuals from different cultures.

Explain how participating in this course impacted your cultural competency?

Participating in this course has opened up my eyes to appreciate other cultures and ways of thinking. I now realize that I have had a very closed-up worldview, seeing things just from my own cultural perspective, and that there are many other possibilities in how we look at things. It has raised my awareness of the variations that are there among different cultures and that those differences affect the depth of our engagement.

Explain the importance of cultural competency in your professional line of work?

To practice from a perspective that is culturally sensitive and ethical in a multicultural context is important. As a healthcare professional, I need to understand that I need to adhere to a strict professional ethical code to avoid ethical dilemmas in provision of services to people from different cultures. I see how this could lead to less effective care of clients with different backgrounds. As a healthcare professional, I need to equipped myself with skills to help resolve such ethical dilemmas when they occur. I need to be able to ensure that I communicate effectively and to have a better understanding of each client's unique background, and to make decisions that will address each client's needs in a sensitive, thoughtful and effective manner. It is clear that it is common for ethical dilemmas to arise when respect for individual autonomy and cultural sensitivities collide. This could arise for example when spouses make interventions that might be in conflict with the individual client's autonomy. An understanding of their culture might help resolve such a dilemma and help me to be able to assist wither the client or the spouse while respecting the value of their community in a culture. There are a number of resources that would help me as a healthcare professional to address ethical dilemmas in multicultural contexts. Such ethical decision-making frameworks will usually start from a point of sensitivity, which I would define as the ability to acknowledge that an ethical issue does exist (Wen-Shing Tseng, 2008).


April, W. (2018). Culture and Identity. Books on Demand.

Sharifian, F. (2014). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Culture. Routledge.

Weigl, R. C. (2009). Intercultural competence through cultural self-study: A strategy for adult learners. International Journal of Intercultural Relations.

Wen-Shing Tseng, J. S. (2008). Cultural Competence in Health Care. Springer Science & Business Media.

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Essay Example on Cultural Competency: A Priceless Asset for Understanding Others. (2023, Apr 24). Retrieved from

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