Cultural Humility vs. Cultural Competence: Do You Know Me?
“The approach of cultural humility goes beyond the concept of cultural competence to encourage individuals to identify their own biases and to acknowledge that those biases must be recognized. Cultural competency implies that one can function with a thorough knowledge of the mores and beliefs of another culture; cultural humility acknowledges that it is impossible to be adequately knowledgeable about cultures other than one's own. Humility has traditionally connoted a kind of meekness or humbleness, but it can also be used to “denote a willingness to accurately assess oneself and one’s limitations, the ability to acknowledge gaps in one’s knowledge, and an openness to new ideas, contradictory information, and advice. Why is cultural humility important? 1. Cultural humility means not pigeon-holing people. Knowledge of different cultures and their assumptions and practices is indeed important, but it can only go so far, 2. Cultural humility is also an important step in helping to “redress the imbalance of power, and 3. Approaching each encounter with the knowledge that one’s own perspective is full of assumptions and prejudices can help one to keep an open mind and remain respectful of the person (s) seeking involvement. This training session will challenge our understanding of cultural competence and help move us toward cultural humility; enhancing our effectiveness while engaging the communities we serve.