Diversity in Human Services

People are both similar and different; diversity is the recognising and valuing difference. Diversity relates to distinction such as gender, age, religion, race, culture, education, occupation, language, attractiveness, health, physical appearance. Cultural diversity is one aspect of diversity with a multitude of differences which come from our cultural heritage. Every aspect of life is touched by culture, culture affects how people perceive things, and it influences how people attribute meaning to communication. When cultural communication systems are unknown or ignored, messages are likely to be misinterpreted resulting in barriers to communication. To ensure effective communication Human Services workers require awareness of and sensitivity to cultural differences to enable them to successfully serve a diverse range of people. This essay examines effective cross cultural communication for the , as culture refers to the language, knowledge, rituals, values that connect any group of people, in the scope of this essay the context of cultures is that from different countries. Firstly, it looks at some of the differences and problems when communicating cross culturally. Then the essay proposes solutions to reduce communication barriers and, finally proposing principles human service agencies should adopt to enhance communication.

Working cross culturally the human service worker faces many challenges to effective communication because of the complex nature of culture, intercultural behaviours, core values and expression provide much possibility for misunderstanding. According to Fouad Arredondo communication patterns, styles, symbols and gestures are highly culture bound and unconsciously scripted. (Fouad Arredondo 2007 p42). Several variables can be considered to assist in the understanding of cultural differences to identify why problems arise, individualism versus collectivism is one variable. Individualistic cultures are where emphasis is on individual achievement as contrasted to collective cultures where importance is on what is best for the group. Counselling itself is a culturally specific activity having evolved from a Western philosophy of individualism, asking a client from a collective culture to focus on hyperintrospection and hyperindividualism will not resonate result in a lost opportunity. Whilst not speaking the same language is a more obvious barrier to communication, consider the communication barrier created when a client for whom English is a second language is expected to verbalise highly complex emotions. (Wheeler 2006 p150)

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Diversity in Human Services
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Cultures can also be distinguished as having low context or high context communication, in low context cultures such Australia or America communication is direct, the meaning is in the message. Asian, Mediterranean and Arab cultures are high context where communication is indirect and it is equally important to look at the implicit meanings and body language. Misunderstandings arise when there is a lack of awareness in the different style of communicating. For example, Indigenous Australians would consider it rude to directly ask a question and instead hint (Mundine 1999, p. 1). This is similar to Asian concept of saving face indirect communication is used to prevent discomfort for either party. In some Asian cultures this is extended to some not disclosing physical abuse for fear of losing face or embarrassing the family (Devito 2009, p. 281), however withholding such information creates a barrier to communication for the human services worker.

Non verbal communication is another factor which in which meaning differs between cultures, and if these differences are not understood leads to communication breakdown. In some cultures nodding the head means no, or the nod of a head from a Chinese person does not implicitly mean that they agree. In Western culture direct eye gaze is considered a sign of honesty, in cultures such as Japan however, direct eye gaze is a sign of disrespect. De Vito (2009, p. 133) concludes try visualising the potential for misunderstandings that eye communication alone could create.

A Human Services worker lacking awareness of cultural-based norms, such as family structure and gender rules, risks violating these rules, their behaviour impeding trust and confidence. For example, married Muslim women cannot touch a man other than their husband. Lack of awareness or sensitivity to these norms creates conflict and a lost opportunity for engagement. Another barrier to communication results where the Human Service worker consider their own culture to be superior to others cultures. Gamble and Gamble conclude that ethnocentrism is key to failed intercultural communication efforts. (Gamble Gamble 2009, p.27).

Finally, cultural stereotyping is a barrier to effective cross cultural communication, whilst it is necessary to group people to simplify understanding differences, it is problematic perceive that all are the same. For example, to believe that all immigrants from the Middle East are unable to assimilate into Australian society is cultural stereotyping. Stereotyping demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of diversity leading to a breakdown in communication. This paper has looked at some cross cultural communication differences and problems that arise that can be covered in the scope of this essay, the paper now proposes solutions to enhance communication and reduce communication barriers.

To enhance communication and reduce barriers in cross cultural communication the Human Services worker develops knowledge and skills. Integral to this is self awareness, being aware of and challenge ones perceptions and bias. Workers must to increase intercultural communication competence by developing knowledge of different cultural differences, Gamble Gamble confirm it is vital to make the unknown known we need to conduct ourselves in a manner designed to reduce the strangeness of strangers; that is, we need to open ourselves to differences by adding to our storehouse of knowledge, by learning to cope with uncertainty and by developing an appreciation of how increasing our cultural sensitivity positively affects our communication competence (Gamble Gamble 2009, p. 30). It would however be uninformed to believe that a person can ever completely understand another culture making it necessary for to be comfortable dealing with ambiguity. As important as it is to be familiar the difference in culture conversely it is important not to allow cultural traits to hinder understanding nor to focus excessively on differences. Clients are individuals; human services workers serve a person, not a culture (Egan 2006).

Empathy listening skills are integral to effective communication and equally so when communicating interculturally. The should put themselves in their clients shoes to imagine what is like from his or her world view point. Listening skills and careful observation of cues such as non verbal signals should be taken into account interpret full meaning, particularly when communicating with a person from a high context culture. To enhance communication the human services worker should also regularly seek confirmation of understanding. A deeper level of trust and confidence may need to be built with people from some cultures before they disclose emotional or what they consider to be shameful. To enhance communication with these people it may take patience, time and also an appropriate level of self disclosure on the workers part. To reduce communication barriers the worker may ask permission before asking sensitive a sensitive question. Workers should also be aware and sensitive to taboo subjects, in some Indigenous Aboriginal communities it is shameful to talk about mental illness, to reduce communication barriers workers would avoid using certain words or lables (XXXXX). Working with people who speak English as a second language poses another set of challenges in communication, to reduce barriers workers should speak slowly, be patient and allow pauses, alternatively an interpreter could be offered. (Kenny 2009).

To reduce communication barriers for their diverse range of stakeholders it is vital for should foster their own culture where diversity is embraced and celebrated. A philosophy of respect of individuality and uniqueness which commitment to self development and ongoing learning is promoted. This philosophy should be brought to life by encourage a diverse range of workers with difference backgrounds and experience. A culturally specific approach to training programmes, developing intercultural communication competencies when working and human services workers be regularly reviewed against competencies identifying areas for development.

Culture influences everything about people, including the meaning attributed to communication, this poses challenges for the human services worker when working cross culturally. This essay has considered some of the communication differences and issues that Human Services workers face working interculturally, it has also looked at ways to enhance communication and also principles agencies should adopt to reduce communication barriers. The essence however is that ultimately no two people even those from the same culture are the same, innumerable differences makes each person unique. Human Services workers require cross cultural competency to effectively communicate with the diverse range of people that they meet the most fundamental of these abilities being willingness to learn and respect of all individuals.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with Essay Help Republic
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Classic English Literature
awesome research and organization
Customer 452451, May 26th, 2022
Nice job!
Customer 452459, September 27th, 2022
Classic English Literature
no errors and top-notch grammar
Customer 452451, May 26th, 2022
on time and very legit!
Customer 452447, May 18th, 2022
i love every detail of the paper. am sure i'll get an A+
Customer 452459, September 27th, 2022
Classic English Literature
Awesome Work. Highly recommend the writer
Customer 452461, November 21st, 2022
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.