Psychologists mention that an individual’s ancestry gets deeply rooted within oneself. Whether you like it or not, one’s traditional roots, attitude, and behavior are strongly committed to their social group or tribe thus, making every individual prone to make cultural errors says Brian Colombana. One way or the other, you are wired to think that your culture is superior to the rest. However, this in no way means that making cultural errors is okay. Especially when living amongst the people of that culture. Repetition of that mistake is simply impolite.
You can get out of making cultural mistakes, and the only way out is practicing cultural competence, as explained by Brian Colombana. Cultural competence is a term coined by cross-culture specialists. And defined as the ability to communicate with different cultured people. Utilizing utmost respect and sensitivity. Below are a few cues by following which you can practice cultural competence.
Understand the culture you belong to
Studying one’s own culture is not as easy as it seems. Your culture may be the most invisible atmosphere around. Once you surround yourself with a culture unlike yours. You become set to realize the little things that become a part of your culture. But are not as important to someone else’s culture. For example, people in one country may be more focused on productivity and are better known by their profession. But in another country, people may not be as focused on productivity. Nor would they identify themselves. With the position, they hold in their careers.
Similarly, it is essential to observe the cultural norms and values that are important to your motherland.
Let locals be your guide
Brian Colombana says locals are the best teachers you can find. It is crucial to observe and examine the locals of a country. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you discover once you embrace your new surroundings and their culture. Analyze their dressing, how they interact, their eating habits, manners, communication style, and all that you can grasp. For instance, in a country, locals may get off public transport after thanking the drivers. It shows that courtesy holds great value in that country.
Learn the language
Learning the language of the place you reside in is a given. Even if you are a beginner, make sure you catch the basics. A straightforward way to become a part of someone’s culture is to understand the local dialect.
Find yourself a guide
It is essential to ask questions, and it should not worry you. Find yourself a local that you can question about anything. You might be again just as surprised with the kind of people you may find. Some are way similar to your culture but different at the same time.
You may even find someone with dual citizenship or someone that is bicultural as well as bilingual. It can be beneficial; you must know how to balance both sides with perfection and ease. It is good to observe cultural competence, but remember Rome did not get erected in a day. It would take practice and time to reach your goal. Until then, you can keep trying and hustling.