Wisdom Thinking that emanates from Cultural Humility

Learning with Palms is built on opening our hands to others with cultural humility.  In achieving this we harness the unique energy of cultural diversity to build a community of wisdom thinkers.

Culture forms the basis of almost everything we do. Culture determines how we act in almost every situation.  It is the means by which human beings communicate, perpetuate and develop their knowledge about, and attitudes toward life (reality). It’s what we sometimes call common sense, which makes it easy for us all to take for granted the patterns of meaning that are embodied in inherited conceptions and expressed in symbolic form.

Since 1961 Palms has prepared individuals and organisations to work effectively in culturally diverse environments and situations.  While culture is often ethnically based, Palms training builds frameworks that allow and assist work cultures, religious cultures, generational cultures, or any sub-cultures to build competence for enhancing engagement with others.  However, nourishing humility is what dispels the cultural suspicion and fear that undermines community harmony and growth.

Enhancing Inter-Cultural Competency

Initially we assist a community or workplace to clarify the vision, mission and objectives leaders and members seek to achieve.   We can then devise and deliver a customised module of sessions to explore the various cultures and sub-cultures and unpack the strengths that each can bring to growing as a community. As understanding builds participants should witness excitement around the enrichment of a community through the diversity of strengths.

Further support in the form of correspondence units or ongoing advice can be provided as required.

Primary Sessions

Session 1: Is it Culture or Personality? (90 min)

A prelude to understanding how culture impacts personal work styles, interpersonal behaviour, engagement in a community or workplace, and ultimately the achievement of desired outcomes in whatever we do. Learning to sing in harmony, with all utilising their strengths, will mean your team happily fulfills their potential.  A minimum of 12 participants required for this interactive session.

Session 2: Cross-Cultural Simulation (150 mins)

An experiential simulation provides an opportunity to highlight how culture can determine behaviour. It inspires us to examine how we respond to cultures different to our own.  Requires a minimum of 14 and maximum of 28 participants.

Session 3: Some Theories of Culture (150)

3.1 Defining Culture and Exploring Change 

Participants will consider a theoretical, conceptual, and broad view of culture. Participants will explore definitions of culture, as well as some of the symbols of cultures and sub-cultures that may be familiar to them. They will also examine how cultures can change.

3.2 Cultural Complexities 

Cultures have up sides and down sides depending on where you fit within them. Participants will examine some of the complexities to help them appreciate the benefits and dangers of culture, and how one might wittingly or unwittingly become an agent of positive or disruptive cultural change.

Session 4: Personal Strategies for Engaging a New Cultural Context (120 min)

An examination of cultural tensions, potential culture jolts, and techniques for approaching people of a different culture will enable participants to develop a plan to enhance the experience of crossing cultures for themselves, or empathy for others seeking to engage the dominant culture to which they belong. This session is especially useful for those expected to take on leadership roles in a multi-cultural context or seeking to work in a new cultural context.

Session 5: Effective Cross-Cultural Mentoring (120 min)

Based on their own experience participants explore several strategies for passing on skills and knowledge and will appreciate the importance of universal language in communication processes.

Session 6: Improving Management, Teamwork and Communication (120 min)

Participants will gain insights into practical strategies to sensitively manage the issues and challenges associated with leading a culturally diverse team. Managers will understand cultural influences on human behaviour. They will learn to identify effective strategies to negotiate and manage the various challenges that may arise among staff from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Session 7: Many Sides to a Story (120 min)

Participants will understand the many different perspectives to any situation before making assumptions or taking action based solely on their own cultural perspective. Consideration will be given to how various perspectives may be considered through the reflective process of journaling.

Session 8: Learning from Cultural & Colonial Mistakes

Indigenous Australians will speak of cultural clashes that have impacted on their lives across generations. This session highlights some of the negative outcomes of Australia’s colonial history, as well as the struggle towards achieving understanding and reconciliation between cultures. There also may be an opportunity for a First Nations spiritual celebration and peaceful reflection.

Session 9: Practical Experience

9.1 Field Trip (Up to five hours including a mealtime)

Theoretical learning needs to be contextualised against practical experience. This field trip involves visiting a community with a culture different to the participant’s own to experience engaging as the “foreigner”

9.2 De-brief (120 min)

Participants evaluate the experience by exploring further what might be gained from crossing cultures, considering how they now might approach and develop more effective cross-cultural engagements and explore cultural humility as a realistic, effective approach to adjustment.

Learning styles and timing

Community learning is not achieved if all are not provided the opportunity to learn together.  This can only happen if time is given to explore each idea conceptually, practically, and experientially. It takes a little longer, but all take back to their community a unique perspective and ability to contribute in a more engaged, flourishing community.

  • Sessions 1, 2, & 9.1 are mostly interactive whereby learning is achieved by engaging in an experience either simulated or in the real world.
  • Sessions 3, 5, 6 & 8 will be presentations by speakers interspersed with Q&A opportunities.
  • Sessions 4, 7 & 9.2 consist of discussion between learners who have undertaken a common experience or reading.

Sample Modules

Sessions can be combined into appropriate modules to best support participants seeking outcomes. Below are some examples:

Module I: Neighbours without Borders

Nourishing harmony and growth in Culturally Diverse Communities

Understanding the challenges of the diverse cultures within a community will improve daily interactions and communication and allow all to better support one another.  Participants will develop the empathy, knowledge and skills required for cultural competence and humility.  As various strengths are nourished and harmonised more ambitious objectives can be set and achieved.

  • Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4 provide the essential foundation
    The 7.5 hours can be arranged across a single day, however participant focus will be enhanced if session 1 and 2 are scheduled either side of lunch on Day 1, followed by Session 3 & 4 on Day 2.
  • Session 8 is valuable for all Australians and especially valuable where a community has First Nations people represented. It could be effective to schedule it in the afternoon of Day 3 or as an alternative to Session 4 on Day 2.
  • Sessions 9 provides an enriching lived experience across a full day.

Module II: Managing a Culturally Diverse Work Team

Provides participants with insights, knowledge and practical strategies to sensitively manage the issues and challenges associated with leading a culturally diverse team. Managers will understand how culture impacts human behaviour and learn effective strategies to manage the challenges that may arise between staff from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

  • Session 1: Is it Culture or Personality? (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 2: Cross-cultural simulation. (2.5 hrs)
  • Session 3: Some Theories of Culture. (2.5 hrs)
  • Session 5: Effective Cross-Cultural Mentoring. (2.0 hrs)
  • Session 6: Improving Management, Teamwork and Communication. (2.5 hrs)

Duration: 11.0 hours. Can be managed as time permits, but best managed in pre and post-lunch sessions on Day 1, followed by two morning and two afternoon sessions on Day 2.

Module III: International Operations

Ideal for organisations sending individuals or a whole team to work in a particular cultural context.  In addition to the training, Palms Australia can negotiate a support service for the employee’s time spent in situ.  Participants enrolled in all sessions and registered for our support service will receive complementary access to Palms Australia’s three Cross Cultural correspondence units, designed to give participants a fuller appreciation of working in a new culture.

  • Session 1: Is it Culture or Personality? (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 2: Cross-cultural simulation. (2.5 hrs)
  • Session 3: Some Theories of Culture. (2.5 hrs)
  • Session 4: Personal Strategies for Engaging a New Cultural Context (2 hrs)
  • Session 5: Effective Cross-Cultural Mentoring. (2.0 hrs)
  • Session 7: Many Sides to a Story (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 8: Learning from Cultural Mistakes (2.0 hrs)
  • Session 9: Field Trip and De-brief (4.0 hrs & 1.5 hrs)

To book training or find out how Cross-Cultural Training can improve your community or organisation, complete the enquiry form.  Alternatively, call us on 02 9560 5333.