Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers HLTHIR403C # 4: Cultural Diversity & Communication. Lesson Outline. How do we show respect for cultural diversity when communicating in the workplace?
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How do we show respect for cultural diversity when communicating in the workplace?
How can we use communication constructively to create effective relationships, trust & confidence ?
How can we sensitively consider the impact of cultural differences when resolving issues?
How do we communicate in the most effective way when there are language barriers?
Humans are social beings: we create societies with people from different groups who can live together in peace or in conflict
Verbal and non-verbal communication is the bridge enabling us to create these social links
Our challenge is to communicate effectively within a culturally diverse society and workplace
CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION-Low and High Context Cultureshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tIUilYX56E&feature=autoplay&list=PLFE9649EC6D77970C&playnext=2
Communication contains 3 components
Video: Cross Cultural Communication http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrJTf97Ev8o&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLFE9649EC6D77970C
Affective component: the emotion we feel as a
reaction to events or to words spoken in an interaction
Acceptance of difference or prejudice
Prejudice: a negative feeling toward someone formed beforehand, without knowledge or thought
Behavioural component: our actions & the actions of others
Treating others equitably or with discrimination
Discrimination: unequal treatment based on which group a person belongs to
Prejudice, stereotypes & discrimination can lead to social categorisation
This categorising of people creates out-group members (them) and in-group members (us)
External characteristics are often the basis of social categorization - we judge people on how they look, eg:race, gender, obesity
Scapegoat theory: people may blame problems on the out-group. Conflict and stress may bring out more prejudice & scapegoating.
Brainstorm: In pairs, think of as many factors as you can that people use to stereotype or scapegoat others
• Competition (for limited resources)
• Ignorance (leading to fear of difference)
• Rationalisation for oppression or domination (by powerful groups)
• Prejudice boosts self-esteem (“my group is superior”)
How do we overcome prejudice?
Be aware most people claim not to be prejudiced
Consciously override inner prejudice and stereotypical thinking
Contact with people from other groups may help us learn more about them as individuals and reduce any stereotypes or prejudice
Think about whether you want to overcome a stereotype because it is morally wrong (your inner process) or you are reacting to social disapproval? (peer pressure) Which is more effective?
As community service workers or counsellors, how can we learn to communicate in a culturally competent way?
Patience in dealing with clients’ & colleagues’ attitudes, values or ideas which are different from yours
Repeat information, speak more slowly but not louder, ask questions if the other person seems not to understand
Use non-verbal language: hand gestures, demonstration or mime to explain
Avoid jokes unless you are ready to explain them – they may not be understood, or give offence to someone
If a person reacts differently from your cultural expectations, act professionally
Give written back up information, diagrams, pictures, to help clients understand
Don’t expect others to act according to your stereotype of a culture or social group.
Detecting language barriers:
A client who seems to understand social English may not understand complex discussions.
Staff may overestimate a person’s English levels in stressful situations, where the person’s English skills may decrease.
People’s comprehension level is often better than their spoken language ability.
Interpreters provide a voice for patients whose English is insufficient & they convey the information in a language that the client can understand
Explain to clients their right to an interpreter and the interpreter’s role.
Don’t use family members as they are not bound by the same professional code of ethics as interpreters
Make a file note if the client refuses to have an interpreter after you have offered it
Offer a telephone interpreter service if an on-site interpreter is refused.
To repeat what you & the client say to each other so good communication can occur
To maintain client confidentiality
Not to analyse the information, or decide what should or should not be conveyed
Not to be a cultural expert, to counsel the client, nor to calm the client down
Don’t worry if the interpreter talks a lot after you have said something brief - they may need more words to explain the concept in the client’s language
If in doubt, ask the interpreter what they have been saying.
If the issue is sensitive, the interpreter may apologise to the client for asking the question, and explain that they have to ask it.
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