Cross Cultural Competence: Fundamental to Our Work

An iceberg is a common metaphor used in cross-cultural studies. What cultural factors could be “beneath” the behaviors we can observe?

Cross-cultural competence was suggested as a future eLearning training topic at the Seattle workshop.  That’s a great idea to improve our effectiveness with each other and with clients.

Stay tuned for more about this topic in a soon to be released Higher eLearning training on Employability Assessment.

One definition of cross-cultural competence refers to your ability to understand people from different cultures and engage with them effectively.

We all think immediately of how this affects our work with clients. Also think about other cross-cultural interactions you have on a regular basis.  They may include colleagues from a refugee background and even native-born citizen colleagues whose identies may be shaped by different factors than your own.

Meanwhile, be mindful of these three core inter-cultural competencies:

1.  Be aware of how your own culture shapes your behaviors, beliefs and biases

2.  Treat others as THEY would like to be treated (sometimes different than what YOU might like).

3.  Learn about the cultures you encounter in your work and think about how they may be shaping the behaviors you observe and experience.

These 12 strategies could help you to become more effective in your work with clients and colleagues from other cultures.

(Look for a series of posts over the next couple of weeks sharing highlights and key takeaways from Higher’s March 3-4 Employment Workshop in Seattle, Washington.)





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