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A Humbling Experience

Cultural humility is one form for understanding and advancing a process oriented perspective to competency.  It encompasses three factors which are self critique, evaluation and lifelong commitment. According to the National Institutes of Health, cultural humility is a continuous process that ensures individuals learn about other cultures and are sensitive to individual cultural differences (Isaacson, 2014). It involves a humble and respectful attitude towards persons of other cultures which, helps professionals to challenge their own cultural biases. Cultural humility promotes active involvement to learn, about other people’s cultural experiences as a lifetime process and goal (Danso, 2018). The fundamental idea is we never get to a point where we are done learning. Hence, we must be bold, flexible and humble enough to look at ourselves analytically and yearn to learn more about other people culture.

Moving from a rural town in Wyoming example, from South Park to Chicago can lead to cultural shock for Health professionals. Unlike towns in Wyoming, Chicago is less predominated by the white culture since the racial makeup is 45 % white, 32% black with 5% Asian, and 3% other races (Frey, 2018). This makes Chicago quite diverse culturally. Therefore, while in Chicago one has to learn, understand, and value different languages, beliefs, behaviors, expressions, practices, and consider unique members of a specific group.

While working in a city like Chicago, handling clients from different background is inevitable for health professions, understanding their diversity will play a great role in developing good work relationships. Therefore, in this situation, cultural humility will help you maintain an interpersonal attitude that is open to other people. Cultural humility involves professional’s openness to accept that their own cultural experiences and identities will reduce their awareness and perspective in understanding the cultural experiences of other people.

Cultural humility will assist you, understand other people cultural background, and ultimately relate and work together. Additionally, Cultural humility will aid you in recognizing, understanding, and valuing the diversity of clients. This is because cultural humility encourages individuals to remain humble, and aware of their inadequate knowledge of other cultures (Mosher et al., 2017). Further, through cultural humility, an individual will be able to self evaluate and learn about different cultures hence remain sensitive to cultural differences as they continue to learn. For example, while in Chicago you will be aware of why you want to learn more about different behaviors and beliefs and also educate yourself on different cultural communication.

To alleviate the challenges of learning, accommodating new cultures, and developing new relations, one has to change their thinking to be inclusive and objective. This will help them to become aware of their own culture first and hence understand how their subconscious and preconceptions actions impact others. You will have to start thinking of how different approaches at work affect others and be aware that usual approaches to situations may not be the best for different people and circumstances. Due to this you will be able to drop any ethnocentric beliefs and even ask questions during different cultural exchanges. Also, you will need to be open-minded to adapt and adjust quickly to new situations. Having an open mind encourages interaction with culturally diverse people enabling an individual to explore new ideas. Further, you will have to start thinking positively of other cultures to avoid being abrasive or cynical. Through positive thinking you will be able to throw away ego and hence be humble and accommodate other cultures.


Danso, R. (2018). Cultural competence and cultural humility: A critical reflection on key cultural diversity concepts. Journal of Social Work, 18(4), 410-430.

Frey, W. H. (2018). Diversity explosion: How new racial demographics are remaking America. Brookings Institution Press.

Isaacson, M. (2014). Clarifying concepts: Cultural humility or competency. Journal of Professional Nursing, 30(3), 251-258.

Mosher, D. K., Hook, J. N., Captari, L. E., Davis, D. E., DeBlaere, C., & Owen, J. (2017). Cultural humility: A therapeutic framework for engaging diverse clients. Practice Innovations, 2(4), 221.


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