You are working as a human service worker at a local United Way agency that serves several multicultural clients. In addition to the multicultural aspect, the agency also serves children, women, the elderly, and the homeless. Your manager has asked you to decide the best communication approach for each of these clients. About the Clients
In the human services profession it is becoming increasingly more important to know and understand the different cultures and their beliefs. When it comes to communicating effectively with people from different cultures, it can be of great help if you first understand the social and psychological forces that drive their verbal and non-verbal behavior. It is important to encompass skills like warmth, authenticity, empathy, permissiveness, and acceptance. Effective Strategies and Techniques
Empathy refers to the ability to understand someone else’s point of view and ideas. When a client feels understood, and they think you are more understanding to their point of view, they are more likely to accept and listen to new ideas. Being genuine is the expression of true feelings. Being genuine can be of big usefulness to people in the human services industry. It is important to also be objective. Seeing things from an outside point of view can help the human services worker to be subjective. Self-awareness is the quality of knowing oneself. This can help to convey one’s values, feeling’s, attitudes, and beliefs. Acceptance is an important tool because it shows the clients you believe their beliefs are worthy of consideration. Multi-Cultural Awareness
When working in the human services industry it is important to have awareness of other cultures and their practices. Clients will be more accepting of good or bad news if they feel like they are at least being understood, and being treated fairly. Culture shapes a person’s life from their beliefs and values, to their preferences and attitudes. Understanding a person’s cultural background and beliefs can help you to more effectively communicate the what, why’s, and how’s of thing’s work. It can help you to better communicate what can and cannot be done to help them in their given circumstances.
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