Ethnic and Cultural Awareness
The onset of globalization and other worldwide phenomena that promote international relations have made the concept of multiculturalism and diversity a major issue in all fields or industries, including business, education, medicine and healthcare, psychology and counseling, and such. The concepts of multiculturalism and diversity has set forth the significance of incorporating ethnic and cultural awareness in various practices and operations in many fields in order to meet high standards and quality of ethical bases and social responsibility and responsiveness. This viewpoint sets the importance of learning opportunities or courses that delve on the issue of ethnic and cultural awareness.
From this particular course, I have learned three significant concepts that I believe will help me in facing challenges in my personal life and contribute to my professional development. First, I have learned how multiculturalism is extremely important in managing an organization, especially when it comes to nurturing mutually supportive and helping relationships (Parker, 2008). Second, I have learned how ethnic and cultural awareness contributes to developing skills and insights in dealing effectively with people, particularly in the business setting (Shriberg & Kumari, 2008). Third, I have also learned how understanding the dynamics of multiculturalism and obtaining awareness of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds and practices helps counselors in designing counseling programs, activities, and evaluations and assessment tools that are appropriate and efficient (Allard, 2008) With these three pieces of knowledge obtained from the course in mind, the remainder of this text will focus on discussing the practical application and implementation of ethnic and cultural awareness in three determined scenarios.
Managing organizations does not simply constitute handling the practical or technical aspects of it, such as the finances and allocation of resources, the transfer of relevant and sensitive information between the members of the organization, and such. Management also requires organizing and supervising the organization’s human capital in order to establish healthy, and thus, productive working relationships which consequently draw out the best performance from them. In this case, establishing health working relationships will not be possible if the organization fails to address diversity issues brought about by multiculturalism or cultural differences. Managers must accept that some individuals have difficulty in accepting and adapting to changes, especially when it comes to other people in the workplace which hinders them to develop collaborative and supportive relationships. (Parker, 2008) In order to resolve this issue, the management team needs to establish programs and activities that do not only promote team-building but also acceptance and understanding of diversity and cultural differences.
Understanding multiculturalism is also helpful in engaging in business processes and operations, particularly communication processes. As aforementioned, globalization has caused some changes in the business setting, establishing the need for international relations, also forcing the necessity to communicate despite the distance. Without the knowledge of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, individuals representing various organizations all over the world might fail to communicate effectively posing risks and threats to the position of the business organization, especially when it comes to business transactions conducted with poor communication skills and cultural knowledge. (Shriberg & Kumari, 2008) Business organizations should understand that beliefs and ideologies differ from one cultural group to another, suggesting the need to reconcile differences in order to arrive at a result or outcome that is desirable, amenable, and advantageous to all parties.
Immigration seems to be the trend in human activities and decisions. When people move to a foreign country, they experience various problems and issues particularly on how they are going to adjust to a new environment. (Allard, 2008) For some immigrants who experience troubling depression or anxiety, the need to undergo counseling arises. At this point, counselors also need to obtain comprehensive knowledge on different ethical and cultural backgrounds in order to establish counseling programs and activities, as well as assessment and evaluation tools that are fitting to the beliefs, traditions, practices, etc. of individuals coming from different countries. In order to address this particular need, counselors need to undergo tests in multicultural competence in order to determine what they need to do in order to raise their cultural competence in the workplace. (Hays, 2008) Moreover, raising cultural awareness and competence will be most helpful for families that are immigrants since the counseling process will help them adapt well to the society they are living in, nurturing healthy family lives that leads to productivity and contributes to nation-building. (Gushue, Constantine, & Sciarra, 2008)
Allard, M. J. (2008). Understanding and Managing Diversity, 4th Ed. Upper Saddle Rive, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Gushue, G. V., Constantine, M. G., & Sciarra, D. T. (2008). The Influence of Culture, Self- Reported Multicultural Counseling Competence, and Shifting Standards of Judgment on Perceptions of Family Functioning of White Family Counselors. Journal of Counseling & Development, Vol 86(1), pp. 85-94. US: American Counseling Assn.
Hays, D. G. (2008). Assessing Multicultural Competence in Counselor Trainees: A Review of Instrumentation and Future Directions. Journal of Counseling & Development, Vol 86(1), pp. 95-101. US: American Counseling Assn.
Parker, C. G. (2008). Understanding and Managing Diversity, 4th Ed. Upper Saddle Rive, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Schriberg, A. & Kumari, R. (2008). Understanding and Managing Diversity, 4th Ed. Upper Saddle Rive, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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