Cultural competence involves a great deal of self-examination in relation to inner beliefs, biases, values, and preferences. Throughout this course, we have covered material on how cultural competence is embedded in various professional disciplines. However, it is up to the professionals to be aware of their individual levels of cultural competence. A person’s ability to recognize his/her biases is of importance in regards to his/her ability to gain a full understanding of cultural competence.
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Consequently, most of the concepts that were explored in this course are directly connected to the distinct standards of culturally competent practices in fields such as counseling (Garran & Werkmeister Rozas, 2013). This paper is a reflection of the progress that I have made towards multicultural competence and avenues for future professional development in this skill. Furthermore, the paper addresses the immense potential for multicultural competency in various professional capacities.
I believe that I have made substantial progress during this course on multicultural competency. First, my understanding of relevant terms has been expounded greatly. For instance, I am now aware that social work is closely connected to terms such as progress-multiculturalism, cultural awareness, and cross-cultural competence (Huey, Tilley, Jones, & Smith, 2014). Nevertheless, the most important thing in regards to applying multi-cultural competency in any profession is to be able to familiarize oneself with relevant cultural differences. Furthermore, the term cultural competence can also refer to society’s efforts to foster social justice within environments that are culturally diverse. Some of my milestones in regards to cultural competency include the fact that I am aware of various aspects of stereotypes and assumptions that apply to different peoples and cultures (Ang & Van Dyne, 2015).
This milestone has been achieved through gathering of relevant information concerning behaviors, norms, and practices of various cultural groups. In addition, I am now confident about my ability to consider and recognize some of the historical biases and discriminations that have been subjected towards certain groups.
Some of the areas that I feel that I need to develop my cultural competence include learning how to accommodate behaviors that I consider to be ‘ignorant’. My high levels of exposure have given me the ability to garner considerable levels of cultural competence.
However, when other people behave or comment in a manner that indicates that they are culturally ignorant, I tend to take such issues personally. I recognize that it is important for me to be accommodative of all cultures, even the ones that I consider to be insensitive. Another area that I need to develop is my mastery of the cultural norms that affect communication such as eye contact, gesturing, modes of greetings, and use of humor. In the past, I have often relied on mass media for information of this nature. However, I have since realized that cultural information might be misleading depending on its source. Therefore, in future I want be in a position to access helpful cultural information.
Cultural competency is a minor goal whose overall result is often social change. This concept does not dwell much on how cultural information is collected. However, the course makes it clear that a culturally competent person is the one who possesses a certain set of behaviors, policies, and attitudes that foster cross-cultural engagements. Therefore, a culturally competent society is also a socially competent one. Nevertheless, I would also like to have a thorough understanding of the clinical applications of cultural competency in relation to social professions (Garran & Werkmeister Rozas, 2013). Currently, cultural competency is utilized in a manner that does not explicitly favor technical clinical applications.
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Ang, S., & Van Dyne, L. (2015). Handbook of cultural intelligence. New York, NY: Routledge.
Garran, A. M., & Werkmeister Rozas, L. (2013). Cultural competence revisited. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 22(2), 97-111.
Huey Jr, S. J., Tilley, J. L., Jones, E. O., & Smith, C. A. (2014). The contribution of cultural competence to evidence-based care for ethnically diverse populations. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 10(1), 305-338.