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Cultural Sensitivity

Understanding the concept of cultural sensitivity is a must for people of all age groups and regions. Let us know more about the cultural sensitivity skills in this article.
Cultural sensitivity is a very important topic which needs to be discussed so that people understand its meaning and applications well. When we talk of cultural sensitivity, we assume that there will always be some similarities and differences of cultures of different people. Understanding these similarities and differences and modifying your behavior as per the needs of the situation in order to get along well with people has become the need of the hour.

Due to globalization, we are required to interact and work with people belonging to different cultures and traditions. We cannot afford to ignore them or consider them inferior in any way as this can affect the unity and feeling of love among the people. Also, this is extremely detrimental to the interests of the organization for which we work. Discussing cultural sensitivity in the classroom can help to develop a positive and healthy learning atmosphere which will be the driving force for the progress of the students. Intercultural communication can do wonders in all walks of life.

...At the Work Place

The challenge before you would be to know the cultural aspects of different people and understand their likes and dislikes. We all should know that culture is something which we learn from our parents, seniors and the society in which we live. Honoring and respecting each others cultures at the work place is the secret of efficiently functioning organizations. Language can be a barrier for some people while communicating with their colleagues. However, with the help of effective human resource management strategies by the HR managers, these small problems can be easily dealt with.

Organizing activities that help develop cultural sensitivity should be organized on a regular basis to develop this skill. Lack of cultural sensitivity can create unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings among the workers and can hamper their performance at work. So important lessons and tips should be given to the employees at the time of joining the company to avoid problems and issues later on.

Cultural sensitivity, though easy to understand, might be difficult to implement in practical life. The reasons for this is the difference in the way of thinking and rules of every culture. A particular way of behavior, practice, way of clothing, occupation might be acceptable in one culture but may not be appreciated by people who have come from a different land and have different culture. In such situations, one must be flexible and understanding enough to avoid any sort of controversies. Cultural sensitivity can be practiced only if one has tolerance in him and a certain level of maturity and systematic or rational thinking. Cultural diversity in the workplace has helped many corporations achieve their long term goals effectively.

...In the Classroom

Teaching skills of cultural sensitivity is very important and it is the duty of the teachers to impart it in their classroom such that the students become capable of working with fellow students belonging to other cultures. Teachers can teach students the ways of talking and politeness which can help them get along well with students of other cultures. These things taught at an early age will contribute to the overall progress of students and will inculcate good values in them which are essential apart from academic excellence. Lessons of cultural sensitivity can be taught by introducing many group activities and programs such as sports and social work. At the same time, they need to be taught that co-operating with people from other cultures does not mean that one has to stop practicing rituals and traditions of one's own culture or start disrespecting it.

Nations which have taken the issue of cultural sensitivity seriously, have made tremendous progress. This progress will continue in the years to come. With the help of cultural sensitivity, we can provide a good work environment for all people which will bring out the best in them and help them prosper and pay back to the society. So, think over this point and change your attitude towards the society.
By Charlie S
Published: 9/14/2010
Bouquets and Brickbats
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