Perhaps the greatest knowledge one can possess is knowledge of self. To truly be in touch with our feelings, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses represents a cognitive, psychological and spiritual state relatively few of us ever attain. But to perform at our highest level, we must be in close connection with who we are as human beings and how we impact others. Culturally competent individuals value diversity, respect differences and attempt to learn about the culturally different. Such individuals are keenly aware of their biases and prejudices, and are committed to reducing them. Specifically, self-aware individuals:
1. Are cognizant of their values, beliefs, communication styles and work style preferences, and how these can impact interactions with others.
2. Are aware of their biases, prejudices and stereotypes and how these impact their interactions with others, especially those who are culturally different.
3. Value diversity and respect cultural differences as assets in the group, team, organization and community.
4. Respect and learn from what others have to say, even when it goes against their values, beliefs or ideas.
5. Truly accept the fact that not everyone has to think, act or look a certain way to be valuable or successful in the organization.
6. Regularly evaluate their strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis the diversity competencies and create plans for self-improvement.
In my next post, I will provide you with specific suggestions for improving your self-awareness.
NEXT POST – January 20, 2009
Enhancing Your Self-Awareness