In today’s society, culture has played a massive role in being able to spread awareness and enhance employees inclusivity in the workplace.
As business leaders is our responsibility to promote cultural sensitivity and to each of us to amplify it upon our own level of curiosity.
Cultural curiosity is a desire to learn and understand more about people whose cultural backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives differ from yours.
Whereas cultural sensitivity is being aware that cultural differences and similarities between people exist without having to compare which is superior to the other. The way cultural curiosity and sensitivity connect is that because you are aware and curious about other cultures, at the same time you have to learn to be understanding of it without judging. To simply put, cultural sensitivity and cultural curiosity co-exist with one another.
How can you cultivate cultural sensitivity? Three points that I would like to touch on
Getting to know about a culture, starts with you. You have to be innate when it comes to wanting to know more about people, their background, their culture, and where they come from. Exercising an introspection and recognizing your own cultural background sets higher objectivity when embracing a different culture.
2. Active Learning
Cultures are an ever-growing knowledge. Actively learning about cultures can help build relationships professionally and personally. When you put in the time and effort to learn about one’s culture, you can get to know your coworkers better and also gain a deeper appreciation for their hopes, concerns, and needs.
When you are curious, you might ask about things your two cultures have in common or misconceptions people often have about that person’s culture. You could also ask for advice on how to best communicate and work together effectively while respecting cultural differences.
Whether is working abroad, traveling to a new country, meeting new people, a new language or even experimenting a new cuisine, getting exposed means getting to know that the culture exists and that’s when curiosity takes place! The purpose of cultural curiosity is to develop an appreciation for different cultures and people from those cultures. To be more involved in getting to know about a culture, one of the best ways is to get exposed to it.
The three aspects mentioned, play a big part surrounding cultural sensitivity. When you are exposed to new cultures and learn about them, you will then captivate the understanding of cultural sensitivity.
I had the opportunity work in Global brands internationally and live in Europe, Asia and North America. Being exposed to different cultures helped me decoding how culture is influencing your international team work and building trust effectively with those from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Communication and human connections with local people allows you to grow cultural sensitivity and contribute to build a stronger global brand.
Cultural sensitivity is an ever continuous progress path which results in evolving our communication to others with greater sharpness in being more open and empathetic. It naturally leans to less prejudice and inequity and allows building constructive and efficient working relationships between co workers from different countries and cultures.
There is so much to learn and knowledge is within a grasp’s length. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn and cultivate awareness in my everyday life, professionally and personally. I am even more aware of the importance of and alignment of being culturally curious and culturally sensitive. A higher cultural understanding make everyone a stronger connector, someone who empowers people and grows businesses sustainably.
About Igor Poza: Igor is a Global Brand and Team builder in Luxury Leather Goods and Cosmetics with 25+ years of comprehensive experience, both in headquarters and subsidiaries of Multi-billion Fortune 500, Family-owned businesses and private equity-owned startups. He has expertise in multi-channel retail and multicultural management. His cultural intelligence allows him to bring people together and transform businesses. He currently serves as the Chief Commercial Officer at Mansur Gavriel.