Need a strategic planning firm? Our data-driven process drives clarity, alignment, & commitment for business growth.
The ability to communicate efficiently with people of different backgrounds and cultures – also known as cultural competence – is increasingly necessary for today’s multicultural work climate. Cultural sensitivity training will help organizations raise the consciousness of anti-racism, improve cultural competence, and avoid disputes that can lead to prejudice, intimidation, and retaliation, all with the help of leadership development trainings and programs.
These principles are essential to ensuring that people of our increasingly globalized world will recognize and appreciate each other. And welcoming them is the best way to ensure that we can come together as citizens and ensure that our future holds more stability and hope than our history.
The concept behind cultural sensitivity is very basic. Cultural sensitivity refers to a collection of skills that helps you to learn and appreciate people whose cultural context is not the same as yours. There are several ways in which you can prepare yourself with cultural awareness training.
But what does that mean? Essentially, it means that you work with the understanding that cultural differences exist between yourself and the people you encounter, without assigning importance to them as you go about your everyday life. You see our differences as a good thing, and you don’t think one culture is better or bad, right or wrong. Besides, you see yourself as an anti-racism ambassador.
Raising cultural awareness
Sensitivity and diversity training may help workers understand and react to their implicit or hidden prejudice on the basis of stereotypes and unjust assumptions. The Philadelphia Starbucks incident this spring reinforces the need to raise cultural consciousness in management training before one employee’s racial prejudice causes a problem for the entire company. Starbucks is an example of doing the right thing, too. With the full help of its CEO, Chairman and Founder, the company immediately took responsibility for the incident. With leadership development training and programs becoming available, Starbucks then demonstrated its commitment to raising cultural awareness by closing thousands of its stores so that 175,000 workers could engage in training on cultural sensitivity and diversity.
Connecting effectively with people at work, whether with colleagues, suppliers, customers or clients, depends a great deal on maintaining a good attitude and acting appropriately. But what constitutes appropriate or offensive conduct can mean different things to different people. Cultural sensitivity training will help ensure that all workers recognize what the company and the law deem acceptable and improper conduct towards individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. In addition to the list of protected attributes against prejudice and abuse, awareness training also discusses the forms of inclusive behaviors and behavior that can enhance cooperation and motivation.
Making better decisions
Stereotypes and implicit biases are the consequences, in part, of the need for the human brain to categorize and store a large amount of information. Although everybody has implicit prejudices, they may cause issues when they emerge in the workplace. For example, when a suitable applicant is not offered a job or a high-performing employee is not promoted because of their accent or gender, not because of their skills. Through cultural awareness training, workers can see how implicit biases can distort decision-making. It’s only one way you can educate yourself. With the numerous leadership development training programs and programs open to all they can learn what they can do to avoid making fast decisions about individuals that can harm the company and contribute to discrimination claims.
Improving communication skills
Lack of cultural awareness can restrict the ability of employees to interact effectively with various groups – internally and externally – and can alienate or offend clients, partners, and colleagues employed in different areas, countries, and cultures. Cultural awareness training can help workers understand the complexities of cross-culture communication and the importance of phrases acts movements, and body language in the formation of relationships with various individuals and groups.
Successful supervisor training can stimulate ongoing discussions between workers at all levels about addressing prejudice and insensitivity and attitudes while fostering anti-racism. Education should also empower workers to speak up to ask questions, raise concerns, and to disclose cases of discrimination that they witness or observe.
It’s important to have cultural sensitivity when you fly, of course. You want to show respect and appreciation for the culture of the people in the area you’re visiting. This helps to improve your awareness of your new surroundings and to make your time spent there more meaningful.
But cultural awareness is just as critical when you are at home. In reality, it is so critical that the idea has become increasingly applicable to both the workplace and major business branding strategies.