Cultural sensitivity is the state of being aware of the existence of the cultural differences or similarities between each other without considering any culture as a measure of something good or bad, positive or negative. In more basic terminology, it means you are aware that all people can never be the same and that no culture is “better” or “worse” than the other.
The comparison factor is simply eliminated here. It can be put in all together as a set of skills that allows you to understand and learn about the diverse cultural backgrounds and practices of the people to erase the idea of discrimination among the people.
The skills of cultural sensitivity may not only comprise of the assessment criteria of the diverse cultural practices but also how the respective cultures can be dealt with and how the communication medium can be organized and maintained for gaining influence.
Noting that the goal is to properly serve each other in their own environment, the need to evaluate how various cultural differences and similarities may affect the way people perform in the workplace and as well as to understand the differences to avoid possible discrimination or harassment in the first place is very crucial.
Role of cultural sensitivity in workplace communication
Since most of today’s businesses include people from more than one cultural background, it is important to employ influential and effective communication among each other and the clients. Communication in all of its aspects has a myriad of possible barriers, which includes language, gestures, emotions etc.
Within the workplace, internal communication in meetings etc. as well as intercultural communication is one of the massive issues as the most common problems often occur when there is a lack of cultural sensitivity among the people, especially when there is this presence of ethnocentrism.
One can increase their cultural sensitivity simply if one lives in a neighborhood with culturally diverse inhabitants and one can:
- Get to know their neighborhood better.
- Take the neighbors to sporting or cultural events.
- Explore each other’s traditions/cultures in more depth through each other.
- Be mindful when it comes to religious aspects.
- Be patient while conversing with the neighbours or when hearing their language style.