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Culture Competencies

In a multicultural, multigenerational, and multifaceted world, few strengths are more strategic than the capacity to work well with people of different beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences.

In order to truly succeed in our interactions with customers, coworkers, and the community-at-large, it is critical to understand how someone else might think or behave so we can maximize our outcomes with those individuals.

Culture Competency Workshops are customized learning modules tailored to met specific needs and create greater understanding around various identity groups. We have created sessions to address issues like:

  • Generational differences
  • Sexual orientation
  • Ethnic and racial differences
  • Gender conflicts & differences
  • Religious differences

These programs examine our natural tendency to assess other identity groups by our own standards–which often results in less-than-desirable outcomes. These learning experiences are designed to correct such tendencies with knowledge and competencies aimed at improving connections with those who are different from us.¬†These are not necessarily skills that occur to us naturally, but once they are learned and practiced the result is increased personal success, increased employee engagement, and increased customer satisfaction.

Course Overview

Introduction: The Importance of Being a Bridge Builder

We begin by setting the stage for mutual understanding as organization imperative and fundamental “life skill” to ensure personal and organizational success.

Hearing the Other Side

We discuss Group Norms and Archetypal Tendencies from the perspective of archetypal data that is carefully presented as information describing the general patterns of a particular identity group (as it might apply to age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religious belief, etc.). There is also explicit acknowledgement that not everyone follows norms.

Identifying Differences

We explore various cultural dimensions depending on the specific subject of the workshop. Possible topics include:

  • Different communication styles based on gender
  • Different beliefs based on religion
  • Different perspectives based on sexual orientation
  • Different customs based on ethnicity
  • Different work styles based on age / generation

Hot Buttons Explored

We divide workshop participants into groups based on commonalities (such as sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, etc.) and ask them to make a list of ways that they might feel misunderstood on the basis of this commonality. Specifically, they are asked to identify comments or behaviors they consider challenging and to locate their group’s “hot buttons”–with the aim of helping other groups in the room understand why these items are challenging for them.

Retention Issues Surrounding Various Identity Groups

Four areas relating to retention are explored; this discussion will vary according to the particulars of the individual workshops and participant contexts:

  • Recruiting practices
  • Career planning
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Recognition and rewards

Marketing Issues Surrounding Various Identity Groups

“Marketing” will, for this discussion, be addressed broadly through four areas:

  • Marketing efforts
  • Product lines
  • Community involvement
  • Customer service

Conclusion: Bridging the Gap

We close our workshops with a discussion of specific action plans to help employees and supervisors close the various “gaps” that have the potential to divide us, from both a personal and organizational perspective. We recommend additional resources for continued learning and growth.