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Become a Culturally Competent Coach_Final

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>> Hey again. In the last lecture, we talked about the why of cultural sensitivity, specifically why it's important and beneficial to our clients. This information is super important but of little use if we don't actually apply it. In this lecture, we're going to talk about the how of cultural sensitivity, how to identify and shift your own biased attitudes to become a culturally competent coach. Then I'll walk you through the four step process that you can use in sessions to be considering of your client's cultural identities. You don't need to know lots of information about different cultures in order to have a cultural competency. The key is actually to have an understanding and appreciation of your own cultural conditioning and awareness of your attitudes around people who differ from you. As coaches, we need to be willing and able to fully put aside our own perspectives in order to receive our clients and their stories without bias. We can't put aside our own perspective if we can't even recognize that it is a perspective. This concept is easy to understand but can be difficult to put into practice, that's because we take for granted our own cultural values, attitudes, and biases. Cultures are obvious on this surface, what we wear, the foods we eat, and so on. But our cultural attitudes and values operate on autopilot, typically below our level of conscious awareness. Also, this process can be really uncomfortable because it requires us to be brutally honest with ourselves and examine how we judge and feel about people who are different from us. No one wants to feel like they're racist or sexist or homophobic. So it can feel disturbing and disappointing to admit that we really don't feel comfortable working with a certain population or to acknowledge that we hold a stereotype about a group of people. But emitting these things doesn't make as bad people, the truth is we all have biases about different societal groups that we've learned and internalized over time. We're all born as blank slates, but as we develop, we pick up beliefs and attitudes either from direct experience, passed on from our families, or learn from in our communities, the media, and our culture at large. As we seek to understand our differences and understand the world, we end up labeling others. Our culture informs us of who we are and who others are in the world relative to us. Whether we want to or not, we adopt the messages we repeatedly hear playing in the soundtracks of our lives, especially when we're young. Unless we identify and challenge them, they'll remain lurking in our subconscious minds, and they'll interfere with our ability to effectively coach. We should never discriminate when it comes to who we sign as clients, but we do need to know our challenges and limitations regarding who we can comfortably and competently work with. Our clients deserve the best coaching experience possible. If we're confronted with our own bias, we need to at least acknowledge our limitations so that we can try to overcome them or provide a referral to a colleague who can better serve that person. Now when we coach to a target market, naturally, we're not going to work with everyone from all walks of life. If you're a coach for pregnant women, for example, it's pretty safe to say you won't be working with men, children, or the elderly. But within your target market, you'll be exposed to much diversity over time, Hispanic women, polyamorous women, black women, Islamic women, women with PhDs and women with eighth grade educations, women with near genius IQs and women with learning disabilities, lesbians, heterosexual women, and the list goes on. Some of you may be hearing that list and notice yourself already cringing with discomfort at important words. Take note of that, which words or categories of people create that feeling of discomfort because those areas provide the most opportunity for growth for you as a coach and as an individual. It's great if you have knowledge about different backgrounds and orientations, but what's crucial for us as coaches to be clear on is our attitudes. Take a moment and honestly answer the following questions. What types of people or characteristics of people make me uneasy? What group of people would I rather not work with and why? What types of people do I find myself making jokes about or passing judgment on in my life? What stereotypes do I give weight to? Listen, I know that nobody wants to admit this kind of stuff, but we need to dare to be bold as coaches. Pause the lecture right here, grab a piece of paper and a pen and reflect on these questions. Ask yourself, "Considering where I'm at right now, what groups of people might I have some difficulty working with and why?" Nobody ever needs to see this piece of paper but you, so be as honest with yourself as possible. All right, how did that go? I commend you for your bravery to be brutally honest with yourself. Now that you've acknowledged your assumptions, you can begin to work on shifting any attitudes you hold that don't serve you. This works the same way you challenge any limiting belief in your life, which by now, you know all about. For each attitude you want to shift or shed, ask yourself, where did this come from? Was this gleaned from an experience I had with one individual from this group? Did my parents raise me to think this way? Was this a cultural message I was taught from my community or the media? Like your limiting belief, once you know where it came from, you can challenge its validity, come up with an alternative, and find opportunity to seek experiences that will reinforce a new pattern of thinking. In the meantime while you're working to shift these attitudes, you'll at least be aware they exist. So when you meet people who challenge your limits, whether inside or outside of your professional life, you can start being mindful of your biases. Now there will be little red flags and you can practice catching yourself by telling yourself things, for example, "Okay, I know I have a tendency to think that black women are intimidating but I realize this is rooted in an experience that doesn't accurately represent reality. So let me see how this encounter is different." You may still be approaching with that bias but at least you're presenting with the willingness to challenge and shed it. So part of knowing yourself is having an awareness of how you perceive other cultures and people different from yourself. This is what we just went over. The other part involves having an awareness of your own culture. What is your culture? In this day and age, many of us come from a heritage of blended ethnicities, races, religions, and so on. And our backgrounds are unique and diverse. So when I say, what is your culture, I mean, what is your unique culture? What different backgrounds do you hail from, and how have they blended together to create your upbringing? We often take for granted these facets of our lives, but we all have a rich and interesting story. When we take the time to stop and notice and appreciate where we come from, we start to gain an appreciation for the stories of others we meet. The activities in this module will help you get in touch with your cultural identity, and I encourage you to take time and effort to do them. So now you'll be able to coach with much greater cultural sensitivity because you'll have an understanding of your own attitudes and a willingness to appreciate and learn about others. Wondering how to incorporate all of this into your own coaching sessions? Here's our four step process designed to easily keep you on track to coach with cultural sensitivity. One, assess individual differences. Simply put, ask questions, lots of them. Get curious about your clients and their history. We assess for cultural differences by assessing for individual differences. This isn't about investigating stereotypes, it's about asking everyone the same types of exploratory questions. "What was your experience like as blank? What was it like growing up blank? What is it like for you to be blank? What do you personally value? What does your family value? Is there a conflict between the two? How does your culture play a role in your life?" Every time we ask about a client's values, there's a cultural component to it. It's more enriching to know what it's like to experience body image issues as an underweight lesbian black woman, for example, than just to try to understand body image issues in a vacuum. You're not going to offend your clients by going there because you're not making any assumptions, you're letting them tell you how it is, they'll appreciate it, most people gloss over this stuff because it's uncomfortable. Two, acknowledge cultural differences. Now that you have your client thinking about the influences in their lives, you want to help them connect the dots to see what they do with these messages. The question you want to really get at and explore is basically this, "How does this perspective guide your behavior? Understanding the why about things can be enlightening. We all have a perfectly good reason for why doing everything we do, but sometimes, on this surface, it makes no sense or seems counter-intuitive. When you can guide someone to a place where they realize they've been thinking and behaving in ways that are a direct result of the messages they've been fed and see the messages as a product of their culture rather than a product of their own, they can evaluate whether or not it's serving them, and explore what it might mean for them to reprogram or shed this message. Three, adapt your coaching strategy to tailor your intervention appropriately. This is about letting your client lead on what they want to do or not do with this information. No matter what you think is right or necessary or good, it's important to adapt your program in a way that is sensitive to each client's cultural values and attitudes. Like, for example, even if you think that your client is totally stifled by her culture's expectations of women's, it's never appropriate for you to suggest she abandon her traditional worldview. Your job is just to create a safe space to help her explore what she wants to do. You can do this by asking questions, like, "How can I best support you while respecting your values? Or "If what you're seeking from coaching is at odds with your family or your cultural values, what will go in about this look like for you?" For some clients, it can be beneficial to spend time deconstructing cultural and media messages, and learning how to reject them and replace them with their own empowering beliefs. Others may just want to focus on the work. Some clients may be grateful for the opportunity to explore how they've been oppressed or discriminated against, or how their cultures function in their lives. Others may not be willing or interested to go in there. And that's okay, we tailor interventions by letting our clients lead. Four, evaluate. Check in frequently for feedback to make sure you're operating in your client's worldview and that you haven't gravitated back onto your own. Remember, our perspective functions on autopilot so that they'll drift back if they go unchecked. You can ask questions, like, "Has discussing this been helpful for you? How is this progress going for you?" Or "Is there anything I or we could be doing differently that would make this better?" Just like we don't want to make assumptions about our clients, we don't want to assume that what we're doing is helpful or that it's working for them. And if we ever make mistakes and say something that comes off as offensive or insensitive, we need to just give a genuine apology and seize the moment for feedback. So to recap, we can weave cultural competency right into our day-to-day work by assessing individual differences through a cultural lens, help our clients acknowledge and understand their cultural differences, adapt our coaching strategies flexibly in response, and regularly pause to evaluate what we're doing. As you become more tuned into your own culture and your own attitudes, it will be easier to understand how these mechanisms function in other people's lives. To help you begin to sort out your own cultural identity, head back over to the Learning Center right now to complete the cultural competency checklist and the Cultural Iceberg worksheet. Thank you so much for watching, and we'll see you next time.

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Duration: 12 minutes and 6 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Jul 10, 2018

Become a Culturally Competent Coach_Final

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