Our ability to carefully consider personal assumptions and beliefs - and recognize that they are embedded in our understandings and goals for encounters with clients - is a critical aspect of cultural humility. To effectively explore culture in a client encounter, it’s helpful to recognize that "cultural difference" refers to a relationship between two perspectives.
This process of self-reflection can be done through journaling, talking with a friend or colleague, small group discussions or other methods that feel appropriate. Ask yourself: “What seemed to work for you in a particular situation? What didn’t? What might you do differently another time?”
Prompts for self-reflection:
- Define your own culture/identity: How do ethnicity, age, family, experience, education, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. impact your interactions with clients?
- Become aware: What are your personal biases and assumptions about people with different values than you?
- Challenge yourself: How are your values different from other people’s? How might your values not be the ‘norm’?
- Engage in personal reflection: Remember a time when you became aware of being different from other people and how you dealt with it. Perhaps you were visiting another country and did not speak or read the language; how did you manage?
- Ask yourself questions after meetings: What assumptions did you make? What are you curious about? What might increase your understanding of the client next time you meet?
- Identify challenges: Identify challenges you experience taking a cultural humility perspective and supporting health literacy. Reflect on challenge of adopting a cultural humility perspective and supporting health literacy. How can you learn and grow from each experience?
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