Developing Cultural Competence in the workplace
Cultural competence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with people from other cultures. Culturally competent organizations can shift cultural perspectives and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and strategic commonalities. According to IDI, LLC, “intercultural competence has been identified as a critical capability in several studies focusing on overseas effectiveness of international sojourners, international business adaptation and job performance, international student adjustment, international transfer of technology and information, international study abroad and inter-ethnic relations within nations.”
Cultural competence is important because, without it, our opportunity to build effective workplace relationships is impossible. Instead, we’ll co-exist with people we don’t understand, thereby creating a higher risk for misunderstandings, low productivity, and implicit bias—things that can all be avoided. Culture competency training is not about being politically correct, demonizing white people, or the United States. Cultural competence requires that organizations have a defined set of values and principles. Organizations must demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies, and structures that enable them to work effectively across differences (race, gender, nationality, age, sexual orientation, ability identity, etc.). The cultural competency training Glen and his associates offer is about helping your organization develop the workplace systems and process that will enable your team members to engage with each other across cultural differences deepening learning, efficiency, and communication. All this leads to a harmonious workplace built on mutual understanding and core community values.