Practicing Cultural Humility: Everyday Interactions

How do you act when you are a guest in someone’s home? What about in the workplace?

When it comes to working with the community, ODE really values cultural competence and cultural humility. We try to embody it in our work, as well as in our lives. I asked ODE, “How do you practice cultural humility?” Here’s what they had to say:

  • I practice cultural humility by reflecting on my own biases and assumptions I make even if they’re thoughts or something I said/actions. By reflecting, I think about why I have those biases or assumptions.
  • I practice cultural humility by asking my clients what their challenges are instead of making assumptions based on my personal knowledge.
  • When someone does something I find “rude” I try to remember that manners are cultural, not universal. They don’t just differ by ethnicity, but by gender, age, and SES [socioeconomic status] too. This lets me give them the benefit of the doubt rather than getting really annoyed in these brief interactions. For example, when people ask questions I find too personal, or at the opposite end, when people make no effort at small talk.
  • I try to practice cultural humility everywhere I go. Whenever I talk to someone, I always try to remind myself that I am a guest in their life. So if they want to talk about something, I am grateful they are opening their doors to me and I listen and follow.
  • Whenever I meet someone new, I try to listen as much as I can. Everyone has different backgrounds and experiences, so if they’re willing to share, it helps me learn a little more about them, and about our community.

Thank you for reading this. We hope that you may take one of these and practice them in your life.