Cultural Competence

Mercedes and Billy are developing a cultural competence model. It is based on the assumption that organizations go through a set of developmental stages in achieving an inclusive culture. Their definition is based on Pedersen’s multicultural competence model which emphasizes awareness, knowledge, and skills but they separate attitude from recognition in their work to emphasize self-understanding of our cultural bias consciousness and carefully examining beliefs and values about cultural difference. They also add compassionate talking to the seven styles of communication which they feel goes beyond sensitivity and awareness that diversity education seems locked in.

Their model has five stages which offer unique characterization. These stages illustrate how competence increases as an organization or individual reaches the higher stage of inclusion, with the movement towards more upper stages requiring commitment, education, training, and considerable practice.  Their four component definition approach encompassing all the key features of popular definitions and gives components needed to assess inclusion gaps.

Heather is focusing on understanding cultural diversity in the workplace to strengthen communication and productivity. Personal biases through ethnocentrism must be overcome so that we can recognize the creativity of others. Blanding (2013) advocated that managers have an awareness of their cultural biases and assumptions and encourage their employees to do the same. They can do this through cultural awareness moments. Cultural diversity is an excellent tool for problem-solving.

Managers should be aware of multicultural barriers such as generational differences, status, and resistance barriers all arising from ethnocentrism that employees may face and prepare them how to deal with them effectively. I concur that understanding cultural diversity in a workplace brings harmony and an organization reaps fully from the precious and distinctively uniqueness of others through multiculturalism as we have understood other cultures in their perspective rather than in our biased understanding of them.