28. June 2012 · Comments Off on Cultural Proficiency: The Essential Elements · Categories: Collaboration, Cultural Proficiency, Leadership · Tags: , , , , ,

Cultural Proficiency: The Essential Elements

The Essential Elements of Cultural Proficiency are just that—ESSENTIAL. The Essential Elements are the standards of behavior and organizational practices that lead to Culturally Proficient organizations. We use the Essential Elements to create rubrics for holding ourselves accountable. Some of the rubrics include: Curriculum and Instruction; Assessment; Family and Community; and Professional Development. One of my favorite rubrics, as I describe below, is Culturally Proficient Level 5 Leaders, where teams have combined the work of Cultural Proficiency and Jim Collins, Good to Great. The Essential Elements form the backbone (standards) for the rubric.

What is Cultural Proficiency?

It’s PERSONAL
• It is an inside-out approach
• It is about being aware of how we think and work with others
• It is about being aware of how we react to those different from us
• It is a mind set; a way of being; a paradigm shift for some

It’s ORGANIZATIONAL

• It is the use of specific tools for effectively describing, responding to, and planning for issues that emerge in diverse environments
• It is the policies and practices at the organizational level, and values and behaviors of the leader that enable effective cross cultural interactions among staff, community, and those we serve

The Essential Elements
One of the four tools of Cultural Proficiency is the Essential Elements.

These Essential Elements set the standards for our work both personally and organizationally. The Essential Elements are:

• Name the differences: Assess your own culture.
• Claim the differences: Value diversity.
• Reframe the differences: Manage the dynamics of difference.
• Train about differences: Adapt to diversity.
• Change for differences: Institutionalize cultural knowledge.

Culturally Proficient Level 5 Leadership
Again, one example of how I’ve used the Essential Elements in my work is to create a Culturally Proficient Level 5 Leadership Portrait along with a rubric for Culturally Proficient Level 5 Leaders, combining the work of Cultural Proficiency and the leadership work of Jim Collins, Good to Great. The Leadership Portrait and the rubric guide the behaviors, policies, and practices of individuals and organizations, and also serve as a means of accountability to accelerate the cultural shift to building relationships, valuing others, and individual, team, and organizational success.

Another example of applying the Essential Elements as standards for Culturally Proficient teams is found within our best seller: Culturally Proficient Learning Communities: Confronting Inequities Through Collaborative Curiosity.

Source: Culturally Proficient Learning Communities: Confronting Inequities Through Collaborative Curiosity, Corwin Press Best Seller

To learn more about how to develop Culturally Proficient Level 5 Leaders or Culturally Proficient Learning Communities within your organization, please feel free to email me at ljungwirth@ConveningConversations.com.

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