Cultural / Situational Awareness
This topic helped me understand the need to appreciate different cultures, beliefs, values, and perceptions and enabled me to know why and how things are done. Cultural awareness is a necessary skill in this age of globalisation, and there are many situations I have been open-minded and flexible to other cultural diversities. In an organisational setting, we can be exposed to a range of different languages and cultures. It will change how we perceive the surrounding environment and better how we relate with others. Culture can affect how people socialise because it is apparent that our cultural upbringing can determine and identify who we are.
I feel that some people find it difficult to appreciate other cultures because of the existing stereotypes. Cultural awareness is faced with this problem as it is hard to understand the personality of an individual despite the binding factor of culture. The difference can spark conflict of interests on how to exercise authority, but I believe this can change if we embrace it. Communication is an essential tool of promoting this aspect as it builds a sense of identity and helps solve any differences that may arise in an organization. All in all, we can make other people respect us by changing how we judge their cultures.
Occasionally, it is difficult to exhaust the issue of cultural awareness by only focusing on the sense of identity. I did more research on the topic and realised that our social environment is determined by what we learn by associating with others. The dynamics existing in different cultures can help an individual make an assessment and a clinical judgment if their cultural system is biased. Self-assessment can help in the control of possible barriers to communication, thus facilitating cultural awareness. A lack of knowledge aids cultural biases, and this negatively impacts the growth of cohesion and integration in an organization (Constantin, Cohen-Vida, & Popescu, 2015). Day to day activities can be affected by how we articulate the cultural aspect of socialisation and promoting awareness by learning from previous experiences, conducting research and reviewing our perception to others. This knowledge applicable to improving how we interact, thus enables us to appreciate other people and their culture (Tesfaye, 2016). Furthermore, it is considered a life skill and should not in any instance overlooked or ignored. Cultural identity can affect us differently and change how we embrace other customs.
I have interacted with many people from different cultural backgrounds, which enable me to know how diversity can help promote situational awareness in an organization. The ability to analyse the existing organisational situations without stereotyping can help heighten cultural awareness (Carter & Vuong, 1997). I noted the necessary stages an individual can use to promote awareness in an organization. The first stage is the Parochial stage, which entails the concept of diversity. Ethnocentric stage involves the power of enlightenment, which enables a person to realise that no culture is superior to others. The synergistic level of awareness is where an individual can recognise the benefits of the different customs to problem-solving. The last stage is the participatory stage is vital in ensuring that people are able to create and share different ideas despite the existing cultural setting. An individual should appreciate and change how they perceive others and be part of a solution. Lastly, before judging others based on their cultural affiliations, we should try to read communicate with them both verbally a non-verbally (Loehr, 2017). This way, we can build a convincing argument as to why people behave the way they do.
In conclusion, I have learned that cultural awareness is not only vital for our interaction, but also a tool that can promote national unity. We may come from different social setting with beliefs, moral values, and perceptions, but this should not affect us how we direct our energies to achieve our goals. We live in complex multicultural societies, and many people lack the aspect of awareness. We should be open-minded and flexible to change to enable us to cope with the needs of other people who are present in our life. Finally, we should consider expanding our knowledge and improve how we communicate as it affects how we perceive culture.
In my opinion, most interactions are determined by the cultural upbringing of a person had. An action plan should include, laying down clear ground rules that will promote equality and make them appreciate the coexistence of different cultures. The rules should consist of the set of objectives, action steps and indicators of progress to achieve cultural awareness.