Cultural Competency

How do we develop an attitude and components of cultural competence?

Developing cross-cultural attitudes allows one to develop skills for better engaging with people from all kinds of cultures. Cross-cultural skills demonstrated through the ability to communicate with respect; recognize others’ values, accept knowledge, skills, and talents; and tolerate, engage, and celebrate the success of others. Deardorff defined competence as “the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations based on one’s intercultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes” (Deardorff, 2006, pp. 247-248). We adopted Deardorff (2006) cross-cultural attitude strategies that help you to develop and enhance one’s ability to practice effective communication in intercultural situations:

  • Practice openness by demonstrating acceptance of difference.
  • Be flexible by demonstrating acceptance of ambiguity.
  • Demonstrate humility through suspension of judgment and the ability to learn.
  • Be sensitive to others by appreciating cultural differences.
  • Show a spirit of adventure by showing curiosity and seeing opportunities in different situations.
  • Use a sense of humor through the ability to laugh at ourselves.
  • Practice positive change or action by demonstrating a successful interaction with the identified culture.