In today’s globalised world, cultural competence helps bridge cultures and backgrounds to create a workplace where people feel valued. This builds loyalty and better understanding, resulting in repeat business, less costly mistakes and higher job satisfaction. Learn how you can cultivate this attribute with the following three tips.

2:00 min

Fight the bias

Cultural biases are common in the workplace and have a notable influence on behaviour. A study estimates that it only takes 7 seconds to develop a first impression of someone. To avoid falling into this trap, first understand that building cultural competence is a process, not an end point. Second, reflecting on our own identity and behaviour improves our interactions with others to prevent inadvertent discrimination. Follow this guide to heighten awareness of our blind spots.


Build bridges, not walls

Culture experts challenge us to go beyond embracing differences to being curious about people from different backgrounds in the way they feel, think, behave and interact. Grow your network and strengthen bonds by listening not only to your colleagues, but to clients, superiors and acquaintances, too. “When cultural curiosity is triggered, people see problems and barriers as a new area to explore, investigate and learn,” explains Tai Ling Ling, a career coach. Here are 3 reasons why effective leaders need to be culturally competent today.


Diversify your inner circle

As social beings, our relationships influence who we are. When we are open and vulnerable with people from different backgrounds, we are challenging ourselves beyond our comfort zones. Exposure to diverse environments will sharpen soft skills, such as empathy, to help us develop a more self-aware mindset that leads to personal and professional growth. Here are 5 tips to help you strengthen your inner circle in today’s workplace.