Are You Culturally Competent?

December 23rd, 2014 by admin

The ability to work successfully across cultures is crucial for employers. This is called “cultural competence” (a term coined by social worker Terry Cross, MSW, in 1988). Cultural competency can be applied to an organization or an individual employee. Here is what it means for you: Possessing a set of behaviors and attitudes that allow you to work effectively with people, no matter what their background. When you meet fellow workers or customers, each one has unique thoughts, communication styles, customs, beliefs, biases, and values. For your organization to fulfill its mission, only you can take charge of removing personal barriers that may stand in the way and that lead to ignoring, overlooking, or being “culturally blind” to these dynamics. Cultural competence is not a “one shot, now I know it” idea. It’s an ongoing process of increasing ability and capacity. Visit the resource available at (in the search box type: “terry cross”). Read about the six levels of competence and discover how to have more exciting and fulfilling interactions with others on the job. Use the six levels to discover your current level of cultural competence. Ask, “Where am I right now in my attitudes and beliefs?” And then ask “Where do I need to go?”

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