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Intercultural Competency and Humility

"The stranger sees only what he knows." African Proverb

Intercultural competence is an awareness of others, and an embrace of different perspectives and behaviors. Cultural humility is our attitude as we enact our intercultural competence. Together, these concepts foster positive relationships, uplift individual contributors, and create belonging in our workplace.

Embracing the Unknown
Most folks associate competency with success, strength, and intelligence. Because of this, it’s easy to lose confidence in yourself when developing a competency – no one wants to be labeled as incompetent because they’ve made a mistake.

Having intercultural competency and acting with cultural humility doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or get it right every time. Knowing what you don’t know – and admitting it – creates space for others to make the right call or find the best option. Embracing the unknown fosters opportunities for learning.

Embracing Learning
Ultimately, you are responsible for your own development. It’s no one else’s responsibility to teach you about their culture – but if they do, listen carefully! The Platinum Rule is to treat others how theywould want to be treated. You can develop your intercultural competency and cultural humility.

Investing in intercultural competence, acting with cultural humility, and opening yourself to new ideas will help you lift others up as you develop as a leader.

Resources from the Enterprise

From the Office of Inclusion
Equity Analysis Tool

From MMB’s Enterprise Talent Development
DEAI Resource Page

Recommended by Successful Teams

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