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Close Encounters of the Cultural Kind


Title: Close Encounters of the Cultural Kind Author: robert stephen bean Last modified by: Ms Linda Freeman Created Date: 11/3/2005 10:03:25 AM Document presentation ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Close Encounters of the Cultural Kind

Facilitator name Organisation name
Supported by funding from the Australian
Government - Department of Immigration and
Citizenship under the Settlement Grants Program
funding program
Cultural Awareness in Volunteering Programs
Workshop Outline
  • Why we need cultural awareness
  • Our Values and Opportunities
  • Benefits to the Organisation
  • Benefits to Communities
  • How to develop cultural awareness
  • Understanding cultures
  • Understanding cultural adaptation
  • How to work across cultures
  • Hints for fostering acceptance and belonging
  • Working together finding the 3rd Culture

Why We Need Cultural Awareness in Volunteering
  • Our Values
  • Service
  • Respect
  • Inclusion
  • Our Opportunities
  • Build awareness and use of our services
  • Develop strong community relationships
  • Attract volunteers from new communities

Cultural Diversity in Volunteering Key
Statistics for South Australia
  • 21 born in more than 200 countries
  • 10 from English-speaking countries
  • 11 from non-English speaking countries
  • Top 10 new migrant source countries
  • United Kingdom, India, China, Philippines,
    Afghanistan, South Africa, Korea, Malaysia,
    Vietnam and Iran
  • Other new and emerging communities
  • Sudan, Thailand, Congo, Burma, Bhutan, Iraq,
    Kenya, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Burundi and Ethiopia
  • ABS Census 2006

The Benefits to Our Organisation of Developing
Cultural Awareness
  • Better understanding of the needs and views of
    the wider community
  • Engagement with new communities
  • Improved community awareness of our values, goals
    and services
  • Stronger community relationships based on the
    values of mutual understanding, respect,
    acceptance and belonging

The Benefits to Our Organisation of Developing
Cultural Awareness
  • Ability to recruit and support volunteers from
    culturally diverse backgrounds who bring us
  • New perspectives
  • New skills
  • Languages
  • Knowledge of and networks in new and emerging
    community cultures
  • A wider pool of potential volunteers and future

The Benefits to Culturally Diverse Community
Members of Volunteering
  • Increased understanding of available services
    among diverse communities
  • Increased understanding of and adjustment to
    Australian society
  • Improved English and communication skills
  • Increased relationships and networks
  • Increased sense of acceptance and belonging

To Attract and Support Culturally Diverse
Volunteers We Need To
  • Understand the nature of culture and its
    influence on relationships
  • Learn about our own and other cultures
  • Inform culturally diverse communities about our
    services, values and opportunities
  • Adapt our recruitment and support processes to
    meet culturally unique needs
  • Help recently arrived volunteers understand our
    national and organisational cultures

Understanding the Motivations of Culturally
Diverse Volunteers
  • Motivations to volunteer are common across all
  • Volunteering is seen in different ways but
    helping the community is a universal value
  • Length of residence in Australia, age and gender
    influence volunteers motivations more than their
    cultural background does

Understanding the Motivations of Culturally
Diverse Volunteers
  • Volunteers who are recent arrivals to Australia
    tend to be more motivated by
  • Sense of duty to the broader community
  • Making social contacts and having fun
  • Improving English skills
  • Gaining skills and work experience
  • Gaining acceptance and a sense of belonging

Understanding the Motivations of Culturally
Diverse Volunteers
  • Volunteers who have been in Australia for a
    longer time tend to be more motivated by
  • Helping their own communities
  • Personal satisfaction
  • Putting spiritual beliefs into practice

Understanding the Motivations of Culturally
Diverse Volunteers Stages of Settlement in a
New Country
  • 1. Survival
  • 2. Establishment
  • 3. Embracing their immediate community
  • 4. Moving into the wider community. This can be
    assisted by volunteering.

Steps that Volunteer Organisations Can Take
During the Stages of Settlement
  • Raise awareness. Explain how we are relevant to
  • Clearly express our organisations values
    community safety, water safety, family health,
    healthy sport, helping vulnerable people, saving
  • Seek to match your organisations values, with
    those of the community and members
  • Act to build trust

Ways of engaging with communities
  • Speak with community groups about the role of the
    organisation and its services
  • Create new volunteering roles that provide a
    bridge between organisations and communities
  • Review orientation and training information for
    plain English and simplicity
  • Review internal policies and procedures
  • Cultural awareness training for current
    volunteers and staff

Key Points Culturally Diverse Volunteers
  • Are available and want to volunteer
  • Bring extra value to your organisation
  • Will value what your organisation represents
  • Want to learn more about the culture of
    volunteering in Australia
  • May need your organisation to provide culturally
    aware support

Understanding Culture What is "Culture"?
  • The learned and shared behaviour of a society
  • A societys common sense
  • A societys set of distinctive spiritual,
  • intellectual and emotional features
  • Its the way we do things around here.

Cultural Diversity in Australia Group Profile
  • Group Profile
  • Your name
  • Your country of birth
  • Your parents country or countries of birth

Cultural Diversity in Australia Community
  • Community Profile
  • Which culturally diverse communities do you and
    others in the organisation work with?
  • Which newly arrived culturally diverse
    communities might we work with in future?

Understanding Cultural Differences
High Context
Low Context
  • Spanish
  • Greek Italian
  • Arabic English
  • African USA
  • Vietnamese Australian
  • Indian Swedish
  • Chinese
  • Aboriginal Organisational
  • Cultures Cultures

Understanding Culture Generalising vs Stereotyping
  • When we study and compare cultures we need to
    make general observations of the way people do
  • But we also need to remember we are dealing with
    individuals, not cultures.
  • It is necessary to understanding the difference
    between generalising and stereotyping.

Generalising vs Stereotyping
  • Categorising people as a group, ignoring
    individual differences
  • Australians are selfish
  • Germans are uptight
  • Americans are show-offs
  • Grouping elements to form logical categories to
    make sense of a complex world
  • Australians tend to be individualistic
  • Germans tend to value efficiency and formality
  • U.S. Americans tend to praise personal success

Understanding "Culture"
  • The central question to ask about different
    cultural views
  • and actions is
  • Why?
  • Why do they do things that way?
  • Why do we do things this way?

The Four Basic Elements of Cross-Cultural
Verbal Behaviour What we say and how we say it Accent tone Volume rate Idiom slang
Non-Verbal Behaviour What we say without talking Body language Object language Environmental language
Communication Style How we prefer to express ourselves Making a point Ways of speaking Ways of interacting
Values and Attitudes What we believe is right Beliefs feelings Ethics standards Prejudices
Verbal Behaviour
  • Accent I love/cant stand that
  • Tone of Voice Dont take that tone with
  • Volume Why do they talk so loudly?
  • Rates of Speech Australians talk so fast!
  • Joking Just kidding. Cant
    you take a joke?

Verbal Behaviour
  • Jargon Downsizing. Ramp up.
  • Slang Bludger. Whinger.
  • Swearing Gday you old bastard.
  • Metaphors Dont beat around the bush.
  • Idioms Pull your socks up.
  • Proverbs Too many cooks spoil the

Non-Verbal Behaviour Body Language Questions
  • How far apart do people normally stand?
  • How much eye contact is expected?
  • How much do people touch each other?
  • What do gestures mean?
  • How do people greet each other?
  • How do people physically show respect?
  • How do facial expressions convey meaning?
  • What are personal hygiene expectations?

Non-Verbal Behaviour Object Language
  • Signs and designs carry cultural messages. e.g
    hats, flags, tatoos, crosses or crescents
  • Objects and artifacts have significant meanings
    e.g. roses, art, monuments, medals
  • Different dress standards are expected
  • Adornments and accessories send signals about
    the wearer

Non-Verbal Behaviour Environmental Language
  • Colours can be very significant for
    wealth, blue for piety, yellow for royalty
  • Architecture and town design influences and
    reflects society
  • People need differing amounts of personal space
    in public, in the workplace, in homes
  • Styles of buildings, office layout, furniture and
    lighting send messages

Communication Style
  • Ways of stating your case direct or roundabout
  • Tolerance of silence
  • Use of humour and irony
  • Speech rules, politeness, turntaking in
  • Different meanings of yes and no
  • Structuring information, views of what is
    logical particular, general

Values and Attitudes
  • What we believe is right.
  • How we feel about the world and how we judge
    other people
  • and situations.
  • Values are the least visible element of
  • communication.
  • Keep your eye on the things
  • that cannot be seen. Confucius

Values and Attitudes
  • Our Organisations Values
  • Insert
  • Insert
  • Insert

All Cultures Share Core Human Values
  • Respect for human dignity
  • Respect for basic rights
  • Good citizenship
  • The Golden Rule Do unto others
  • These values are expressed and upheld in
    culturally different ways.

The Dimensions of Cultural Values High Context

Low Context Cultures

  • Spanish
  • Greek Italian
  • Arabic English
  • African USA
  • Vietnamese
  • Indian Swedish
  • Chinese
  • Aboriginal Organisational
  • Cultures Cultures

The Dimensions of Cultural Values
  • High Context Cultures
  • Members share and need to have a deeper, more
    complex body of understood experience and
    assumptions as the basis of cooperation. Who
    you are
  • Low Context Cultures
  • Members have and need less shared knowledge as
    basis for cooperation. Defined roles and codes
    take the place of assumptions. What you do

Values and Attitudes
  • High Context Cultures
  • Collectivist
  • Being
  • Long term view
  • Given status
  • Verbal agreements
  • Formal
  • Low Context Cultures
  • Individualist
  • Doing
  • Short term view
  • Achieved status
  • Written agreements
  • Informal

Understanding Cross-Cultural Adaptation
  • Immigrants Change by choice
  • Own decision. Preparation. Resources. Networks.
  • Stronger sense of identity, self-worth,
    competence, security, belonging and acceptance.
    Looking forward.
  • Refugees Change by chance
  • Others decision. Little or no preparation. No or
    very few resources and networks.
  • Strong sense of self-reliance but weaker sense of
    identity, self-worth, competence, security,
    belonging and acceptance. Looking backward.

5 Stages of Cultural Adaptation
  • Most people experience distinct psychological
    stages when adapting to a new culture, from
    first contact to full adjustment.
  • Some people adapt more easily and quickly than
  • Understanding that it is a common experience
    helps us to adjust to new cultures and enables us
    to help others adjust to Australian culture.

Common Fears About Entering Another Culture
  • Making a fool of oneself
  • Being ridiculed, offended or embarrassed
  • Embarrassing or offending someone  
  • Giving or getting wrong information 
  • Making or forming a bad impression 
  • Becoming or appearing confused
  • Being excluded, rejected, lonely

Understanding Australian Culture
  • Newcomers to a culture take time to understand
  • The basis of relationships equality,
    individualism, status
  • Informality and formality
  • Ways of handling conflict
  • Humour
  • Gender and generational relationships
  • Language verbal and non-verbal

Stages of Cultural Adaptation Stage 1
Contact/ Honeymoon
  • Differences are interesting
  • We are insulated by our own culture
  • Perceptions of new culture screened by own
  • Excitement, stimulation, discovery
  • Curious, assured, positive

Stages of Cultural Adaptation Stage 2
  • Differences have more impact and begin to intrude
    on our sense of well-being
  • We miss the cultural support of our home culture
  • We misread or miss new cultural cues
  • We may feel confused, isolated, apathetic,
    inadequate. We lose some self-esteem
  • We may become depressed, withdrawn

Stages of Cultural Adaptation Stage 3
Reintegration/Irritability and Hostility
  • We begin to reject and criticise the new culture
  • We can feel angry, nervous, anxious, frustrated
  • We become pre-occupied with our likes and
  • We become more self-assertive, opinionated
  • Growing self-esteem and determination

Stages of Cultural Adaptation Stage 4
Autonomy/Adjustment Integration
  • We recognise and understand the differences and
  • We become more self-assured, confident, relaxed,
    warm to others
  • We can negotiate most new situations
  • We feel assured of our ability to deal with new
    experiences in the new culture

Stages of Cultural Adaptation Stage 5
  • We become more accepting of differences and
    similarities, valuing the diversity within our
    adopted society
  • We are able to fully express our personality with
    trust, humour and affection
  • We are once again fully capable of choice, and of
    creating meaning for situations

The Intensity of the Cultural Adaptation
Experience Increases when
  • Cultures and languages are very different
  • We are immersed in the new culture
  • We feel isolated from our own culture
  • We have little intercultural experience
  • Our expectations are not met
  • We are visibly different from the majority
  • We have lost status, power and control

Cultural Adaptation Questions for Volunteer
Involving Organisations
  • What stages of adaptation are being experienced
    among the community?
  • Do staff and other volunteers understand the
    effects and stages of cultural adaptation?
  • How can we best respect the feelings of recently
    arrived volunteers and support them in adapting
    to Australia and our organisation?

Cross-Cultural Bridge Building The Iceberg
Visible Words Actions
Invisible Values Attitudes
Cross-Cultural Bridge Building The Iceberg
  • Culture A Visible
  • Little eye contact
  • Low volume speech
  • Invisible Values
  • Respect
  • Politeness
  • Interpretation of B
  • Aggressive Rude
  • Culture B Visible
  • Direct eye contact
  • High volume speech
  • Invisible Values
  • Equality
  • Directness
  • Interpretation of A
  • Evasive Weak

Cross-Cultural Bridge Building
  • Talk about and explain your feelings and
    reactions to observed words and actions
  • Ask about the others feelings and reactions to
    your words and actions
  • Explore and agree on ways of communicating that
    are mutually comfortable and acceptable

Key Factors for Cross-Cultural Bridge Building
  • Understand your own cultural values, assumptions
    and expectations
  • Why do we behave the way we do?
  • Learn about those of other cultures
  • Why do they behave the way they do?
  • Discover ways to work as equals
  • Discuss and explain key differences
  • Find the Third Culture

Cross-Cultural Bridge Building Finding the Third
Cross-Cultural Bridge Building Finding the
Third Culture
  • When people from differing cultures meet and talk
    about their preferred ways of communicating and
    working, they start to build a bridge of
    understanding between them that enables them to
    work together as equals in a third culture

Hints for Engaging with Culturally Diverse
  • Develop cultural awareness programs that send a
    clear message
  • Example Surf Life Saving is a unique and
    welcoming organisation.
  • On The Same Wave is about making sure everyone
    knows this.
  • No special treatment, just a special welcome.

Linking personal and organisational values
through volunteering
  • Having an alignment between a volunteers values
    and your organisations is important
  • A successful volunteering experience
  • Matching the individuals values with those of
    your organisation and
  • Helping your organisation fulfill its mission

Hints for Engaging with Culturally Diverse
  • Learn about your local communities and build
    relationships with them
  • Engage community leaders to help you inform
    members of your services and your volunteering
  • Communicate face-to-face
  • Involve volunteers from diverse cultural
    backgrounds in communications and relationship
    building with communities

Hints for Engaging with Culturally Diverse
  • Advertise your programs and volunteering
  • Use ethnic media radio newspapers
  • Use on line volunteer matching services
  • Translate promotional materials into community
  • Network with councils, resource centres and
    multicultural staff in other organisations to
    support volunteers and communities

Hints for Engaging with Culturally Diverse
  • Build cultural awareness into your recruitment
    process to make it easier for volunteers to get
  • Clearly promote the benefits of volunteering
  • Reduce the paperwork or complete it during the
  • Use plain language and explain key terms for
    example volunteering is another way of saying
    helping your community

Hints for Engaging with Culturally Diverse
  • Build cultural awareness into your workplace
    culture to ensure all volunteers feel they are
    accepted and belong.
  • Communicate your values and your inclusive
    policies and practices to all members
  • Provide cultural awareness training and key
    information about local community groups
  • Support culturally diverse volunteers through
    mentoring, training and recognition

Cultural Awareness in Volunteering Close
  • Involving volunteers from diverse cultural and
    linguistic backgrounds can bring many benefits to
    our organisation and the communities we serve.
  • Developing our cultural awareness will help us
    reap the
  • benefits that Australias rich diversity has to

Cultural Awareness in Volunteering
  • Questions
  • Discussion
  • Where to from here?
  • Feedback and Evaluation