A few months ago, a participant in one of my workshops told me that he wanted me to convince him why cultural competency is important. Throughout the workshop he regularly refuted what I said as a cultural issue but rather claimed it was a personality issue. At the end of the workshop, however, he thanked me and told me that he realized that there was a lot to learn and he was going to further explore how culture impacts his work. Moments like this remind me what I love about my work and how cross-cultural competence is the cornerstone to successful business, education, diplomacy and citizenship. Check out this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKwnCOs-QEM) one of my clients recently created for more information on why cultural competency is important.
Current events reinforce the critical need for cross-cultural awareness and competency. From increased racial tensions and violence in the U.S. to worldwide Islamophobia, we are confronted with a surge of nationalism globally that is attempting to vilify people different from the majority. Marginalizing people who are different based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and even gender not only impacts our communities; it also has a negative effect in the workplace. Our biases and the barriers we create as a result of them foster insider/outsider dynamics at work that have a real impact on engagement, commitment, motivation and team performance on a local and global level.
To address this issue, I invite those of you in the DC area to join me for a FREE workshop entitled “Biases, Boundaries and Bridges – Enhancing Cultural Awareness to Move Beyond Stereotyping” that I’m offering this Sunday, September 18 as part of a Community Conversations series. I hope some of you locals can make it.
As cross-cultural training increases in demand, there are also many ways that we can individually and collectively reach across the aisle—or the office cubicle—to become change agents to work towards a more harmonious workplace and world. If you haven’t yet developed the knowledge and skills necessary to do this, we invite you to attend one of our workshops!