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Cultural Sensitivity_Final

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>> Is cultural sensitivity something you're concerned about in your coaching practice or is your outlook more that it doesn't matter because you see beyond all differences and treat all your clients the same as humans. If you operate primarily out of a perspective of sameness, you're falling short as a culturally sensitive coach. Yes, we are all human, and we definitely should treat all of our clients with the same respect. But if we go about this in a way that ignores their differences, this becomes problematic. Being colorblind and treating everyone the same is actually limiting if it minimizes or ignores people's experiences of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and so on. If we really want to understand why our clients do the things that they do, we need to help them explore these important aspects of themselves. We're all creatures of our environment, so to effectively coach clients from diverse backgrounds, it's essential to have awareness, tolerance, and an appreciation for other cultures and orientations different from your own. Otherwise, you won't really be invested in your client stories or stepping into their worlds. Being culturally sensitive doesn't mean that we have to learn about every culture out there or to be an expert on diversity, and it doesn't mean that we should obtain information about different cultures just so that we can use it to label or characterize people. It can be a little confusing at first, but there's a huge difference between cultural sensitivity and stereotyping. What we want to do is tune into cultural customs or norms, general values that typically guide a given culture, not perpetuate stereotypes, which are oversimplified ideas about people of certain backgrounds. This is the difference between noting that it's customary in some traditional Asian cultures to place a high value on academic performance and exploring if this might have influenced the development of your client's rigid perfectionism versus assuming that an Asian client is good at math and using this notion as your reasoning to encourage him to go for a degree in accounting. Simply put, cultural sensitivity involves openly exploring the values, beliefs, and experiences of a person as a result of the unique interplay of social and cultural factors they've been dealt in their life. By inquiring about and embracing your client's diversity and prompting them to think about how it shaped and affected their experiences in terms of opportunity, and oppression, approach and avoidance, and in terms of self concept and social identity, you're going to start reaching your clients in a much deeper level. I'll explain why. Different cultures have different values, attitudes, and beliefs that become embedded into the world views and perspectives of their people over time. As coaches, we need to remember that values are a cultural construct so that we honor our client's values rather than pushing our own. Here's what I mean. Coaching emerge largely from western thought. The values of coaching such as personal growth, independence, success, and empowerment may seem like universal principles but are largely culture bound. We need to be mindful of this. It's easy to assume, for example, that everyone wants to be successful. Yet, there are cultures that value cooperation over success and place a higher priority on the collective good of the group over that of the individual. So when we coach under these automatic assumptions, such as success is highly valued, we are already coming to the table pushing the values of our own culture. This not only makes it harder for us to connect and deepen our rapport with our clients, it gets in the way of empathy, and it keeps our blinders up, making it harder to identify the root causes of the blocks that are keeping our clients stuck. Just as we mistake our perspectives for facts, so do they, and it may not be obvious to them on any level that they're acting out of a learned cultural pattern that's been embedded into the fabric of their being. And while this all may seem subtle on the surface, it starts you off on an uneven playing field, and you run the risk of sending a message to your clients that in order to do well, they need to play by your rules. Remember, we should always be letting them lead. So to do that, we need to get clear on what their values are as soon as possible. So it's up to us to convey our genuine curiosity to explore each of our client's routes as part of the initial and ongoing process of building rapport so that we can truly understand how their social and cultural upbringing has shaped them in profound ways, and so that we can tailor our approach in a way that will be most beneficial and impactful for them. This will pay off in two major ways, strengthening the coaching relationship, and increasing your client's self-awareness. Your client will definitely notice and appreciate if you're really taking the time to get to know them on multiple levels. They'll appreciate when you ask questions instead of avoiding things or making assumptions. Remember, it's easier to offend your clients by making assumptions and tiptoeing around their differences than by showing genuine curiosity and asking them questions about themselves. This is also super helpful because you learn about your client's social and cultural background. You'll start to really gain an appreciation for how they think and why they see the world the way that they do. This will allow you to develop a more accurate and genuine sense of empathy. So now you're not only relating on a deeper level and feeling connected, but you're asking better questions and really reflecting your client's material. When you really get what it's like to be in your client's shoes and you're aware of the types of cultural influences that might be at play in their life, you can tailor your experiences by really focusing in on the areas that they might be feeling stuck in that you may have never thought about outside of your own cultural lens. Now you're awareness is deep into their self-awareness. Here's an example. Let's say you have a client Shay who is frustrated because she finds herself stressing in at night and she doesn't understand why. She says she likes her job, her relationship is great, and she has several close friends that she can rely on, what's going on. Because you're a culturally sensitive coach, you'll look at Shay as a whole and take the time to really explore her identity. She's mentioned she's Hindu, and so you're not afraid to ask what was it like growing up in a Hindu family. How does your religion play a role in your life today? This sparks a conversation whereby you come to find out that while Shay doesn't currently observe the Hindu traditions as an adult, her family is very traditional. This creates pressure in her life in which she's torn between the life she wants and the life her family wants for her. Specifically, they disapprove of her being in a relationship with a man who's not Hindu, and now that the relationship is serious, she has all kinds of feelings about how to choose between her family and her fiancé. You ask Shay, how was this affecting you on a day-to-day basis? And it clicks for her that there is likely a connection between the stress and her late night snacking. All of this time she's been focusing on changing her eating habits when her snacking was really a symptom of the disconnect between her cultural and personal values she's been struggling with. So when you tap into a client social and cultural makeup and inquire about these different areas in their lives, you'll uncover new heading gems to work on together that may not have been so obvious on the surface to you or to your client because maybe from their world view, this is just how life is. To recap, if we really want to understand and connect with our clients, we need to take a genuine interest in their differences, even if that means crossing into the uncomfortable territory of talking about things like race, ethnicity, and poverty. Getting our clients to open up about all of their experiences and struggles can help shed light on where they're limiting beliefs come from, and it helps us as coaches to see what their values are, so we can look at things from their shoes instead of from ours. From here, we will find powerful and meaningful insights.

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Duration: 7 minutes and 51 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Jul 10, 2018

Cultural Sensitivity_Final

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