Culture basically means the pattern formed by the thoughts, actions, customs & traditions of humans living in an inter-related community, be it racial, ethnic, religious or social. It is based on the beliefs, values & behavior of the people involved.
No matter where you are situated, around the world, culture plays the vital role in an individual’s social & vocational life. It is significant in every institution to practice cultural competency, which may help it to operate efficiently.
“Cultural competence is a developmental process and may be viewed as a goal toward which agencies can strive.” (T. Cross et. al. as cited in University of Minnesota Duluth)
Cross- culture environment in offices, educational institutes & etc. are not uncommon these days especially in well developed countries like America where the demographic rate comprises more of ethnic & racial minority groups. This fact ultimately poses a great challenge for all professional & educational organizations. Since it is not very easy, to create a healthy & happy environment among diverse groups. The reason for that are different beliefs & traditions of each group may not mix well with the other, hence, sprouting problems among colleagues.
Cultural competency maybe defined as a combination of multiple thoughts, behaviors & personality traits belonging to a number of cross cultural members, however following the same patterns thus increasing the proficiency of an organization or group.
The main issues that are faced often in cross cultural groups causing cultural disparity are the diverse ethnic & religious beliefs of its members. In educational institutes this problem is significantly in attendance, causing psychological differences among the students & even the teachers. The course outline may or may not reflect each individual’s values & beliefs, hence disturbing the social harmony. It is vital to form a non judgmental & respectful attitude in the organization in order to achieve harmony.
Racial, ethnic & even gender bias is present in every society & institution. Many a times the female students face difficulties in accomplishing their goals & presenting their thoughts on various women related issues due to strong opposition from the male members of the group. It is a dilemma not just present in our society but around the globe that men are considered to be the highest decree of human race & women are believed as their contrary. This contemplation creates a rift among the male & female members of any group. The same goes with ethnic minorities who face criticism on their appearance & different accent making them feel isolated & disparaged from the society.
When dealing with multicultural clients, it often trigger discrepancies among the worker & the client as a result of contrasting opinions due to miscellany in areas like religion, culture, race, gender, family backgrounds & ethics. The reasons for these disagreements are usually the rejection of one’s expectations, therefore resulting in the failure of venture.
Learning from one’s past mistakes is the best way to improve. Helping & respecting each other will result in a constructive outcome. The educational institutes should take care in designing a study course, so that it suits to every individual’s mind no matter which culture he or she belongs to. Cultural knowledge s should be a part of studies so that students may learn about different values & customs & learn to respect them.
Being multilingual, having different skin color or following a diverse religion does not make an individual different from others. Being a human being, it is the responsibility of every person to respect & support each other. This approach will surely create an amicable environment in work places, educational institutes etc. every organization should have some ethical code regarding minority groups, but not to make them feel segregated or disparate from their colleagues. Dealing with multi cultural clients involve tact & proper accord of their priorities & decisions. Culture plays an essential role in developing one’s mind & thought pattern. Revolutionizing the behaviors & policies of employees will help create cultural competence successfully.