Cultural competence training is important in organizations. Cultural competence (and related concepts like cultural humility or cultural dexterity) begins with the individual. Learning about your own style, your own behaviors and having good self-knowledge provide a critical foundation. From developing self-knowledge you begin to reach out and look at different cultural populations so that you can contrast and compare, but also, more importantly, you understand how your style and behaviors can impact those that are different from you. With that foundation you can learn to adapt your style to the people, interactions or situation at hand to be more effective.
It is a natural reflex to label people that are different from ourselves, especially when we don’t understand. That’s where Cultural Competence Training can transform organizations. If someone communicates differently or behaves differently, however, what we tend to do is label it in a negative way because it is different than the way that I communicate, or different than the way that I behave. By having good self-knowledge and developing cultural competency, you learn that your way is not the only way. Cultural competence training teaches how to recognize and adapt your own style while appreciating and valuing different perspectives and different ways of communicating or behaving. That’s what makes an organization rich. That’s what makes an organization more productive because you value all of those parts of the whole, to make them more dynamic.