Multicultural Psychology Today
“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” Jimmy Carter
The United States is the perfect example of a multicultural country. The United States is the home to millions of people with all different kinds of backgrounds. Therefore, we can assume that most of the people we encounter on a daily basis are culturally different from us.
What does this mean for working professionals?
Being aware of one’s own culture is the first step in achieving success. What does your culture say about yourself? What does your culture think about other cultures? Those are some great questions to think about. This hopefully leads to the recognition of your own biases toward people from other cultures. From this point on the best thing to do is to start familiarizing yourself with different cultures. This refers to cultivating cultural intelligence.
Ways to acquire cultural intelligence:
- Join a professional or social group that has diverse membership
- Attend group functions where you are an outsider and different from others
- Create friendships with people different than you
- Make it a point to meet different people at meetings/functions
- Attend community functions or exhibits that reflect different cultures other than your own
- Host a party inviting people from different cultures
Multiculturalism in the Business Setting
Especially in the business setting it is crucial to be culturally intelligent. You have to know who your target market is, what their values are, and how you can best reach them. Part of the marketing process is to be able to identify the client’s needs.
To identify your client’s needs you need to consider the following:
- Cultural Values
- Gender Roles
- Communication Styles
- Translation and Interpreters
- Levels of literacy and English skills
As you can see, culture is all around us. We live and breathe it. Probably half of your friends are culturally different from you. Use this opportunity to get to know them better. You never know how your knowledge can be of use one day!
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