10 Ways to Improve Your Cultural Sensitivity Through Training

A group of culturally diverse women have a business meeting


As professionals working with different people groups, it is essential to understand that everyone who comes to the table has a different story and background. They are uniquely different and yet often the same in some ways. Working with people, especially those who have a conflict, always involves friction that can intensify if someone at the table isn’t sensitive to the different cultures represented.

Learning to understand others and their culture can significantly impact how mediation goes and the outcome involved. Finding cultural sensitivity training in Richmond, VA, is an excellent way to improve your own mediation and professional skills. Learn more about these tips on how to improve your cultural sensitivity through training in Richmond, VA.

1. Ask the Other Person

When meeting someone from a different culture, you can improve your cultural sensitivity by simply asking about their background. Oftentimes, people are happy to share their own stories and what cultures have molded them. If you ask respectively, you should learn a lot through listening and asking open questions.

2. Ask Colleagues From Other Cultures

Many of us work with colleagues from different cultures. You can learn a lot by asking about their personal journeys and also how their culture may view a particular situation. Many professionals are willing to expand and share their culture if you’ll just ask!

3. Tap Into Community Resources

Most communities have different resources and groups that can help improve your cultural sensitivity. Visit and become apart of these groups in your area that represent other ethnicities and races. Check community calendars for events put on by these groups that can also help expand your cultural awareness.

4. Read About Different Cultures

Regularly checking out and reading books from different cultures or authors can also expand your own cultural sensitivity. Memoirs, historical fiction, or even some fiction novels can introduce you to situations viewed through another lens. Reading about different cultures is an easy and personal way to improve your social and cultural awareness.

5. Observe Without Judgement

Many of us would admit that we have preconceived ideas and notions about certain cultures. Identifying this bias, and working away from it, can be the first step in becoming more culturally aware. Observing cultures without judgment is often a clue that you are improving your cultural sensitivity. Tuning your awareness can help shape and change your outlook on those who differ from your own culture.

6. Share What You’ve Learned in Staff Meetings

Talking about cultural differences and sharing what you’ve learned with others is a great way to spread awareness. Share what you’ve learned, either personally or on the job, in staff meetings with other colleagues. Doing so increases your cultural sensitivity training in Richmond, VA, while also boosting others’ viewpoints of different cultures.

7. Conduct Focus Groups

Gathering people of different backgrounds and cultures into focus groups can also increase your cultural sensitivity. Taking focused time to listen, observe, and learn from others is a great way to become aware of the aspects you may have overlooked.

8. Use Employee or Court User Information Surveys

Cultural differences can affect even the most daily tasks that we take for granted. How does your employee or client get to your office? What time of the day works best for their schedule? How can you help adjust the experience to be mutually beneficial? These are all answers that you could learn from conducting an informational survey for employees or court users.

9. Experiment With New Methods

There is always time to teach an old dog new tricks. No matter how long you’ve been in business, new methods continue to improve and adapt to the changing times. Try experimenting with these new mediation methods that can help identify and clear up cultural confusion or allusions.

10. Spend Time in Other Cultures

Finally, one of the best ways to help improve your cultural sensitivity through training in Richmond, VA, is to spend time in other cultures. When you share a meal or celebrate a milestone in a different culture, it helps drench yourself with parts of the culture that you may otherwise miss. Spending time in the middle of other cultures enables you to learn about customs, food, music, relationships, and those little experiences that can mean so much.

All of us need to continue improving our cultural sensitivity through training. We can share aspects of our own culture while also learning about other cultures and backgrounds of those with whom we interact with. Becoming more culturally sensitive and aware can help all of us understand and become empathetic when conflict arises.

Learn more about mediation and cultural sensitivity through training in Richmond, VA, by contacting Donita King Law Offices today. Donita has years of experience as a successful mediator and works with a diverse client base in the Richmond area. She enjoys training mediators, attorneys, and collaborative professionals in cultural sensitivity to better serve their clients and communities.

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Donita King

Ms. King is a member of the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and D.C. State Bars. She also serves as a University of Richmond School of Law Adjunct Professor of Mediation. She previously served on the Virginia Bar Association Joint ADR Council (2015 Chair), and served for several years on the Governor of Virginia’s Interagency Dispute Resolution Council. Ms. King currently serves as a board member of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board by appointment of the Virginia Supreme Court and has been active with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Women in Business as well. Se habla espanol.

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