Cultural Competence

In this short 2 and a half minute video, our senior programme manager for #ProjectM Beverley Powell shares a brief summary of some tips and good practice around cultural competence.

During this video, Beverley shares a brief definition of culture and presents the cultural iceberg as a metaphor for describing cultural competency.

Having now watched the video, please take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

Q: What key piece of learning will you take from this video?

Q: How will you put your learning back into your professional practice?

Hello. My name is Beverley Powell, and I’m the Senior Manager for ProjectM.


I’m going to talk about cultural competence. Whilst we have commonalities, such as being a manager and belonging to the NHS as part of a wider system, in many ways we’re also very different and bring with us to work multiple identities through our different lived experiences.


Being aware of this could be described as cultural competency.


What do we mean by culture? Culture is the way we do things around here. Cultural differences between a team can often prevent the manager from engaging in a critical conversation with a colleague or a user of our service.


What reasons do you think this could be? What do you think would be the individual, organisational or strategic impact of not being self-aware of our own personal and cultural competence?


A common metaphor used to describe cultural competency, can be the cultural iceberg. The cultural iceberg can be split into visible and non-visible. In the visible parts of a cultural iceberg, it could be we can see age, clothes, behaviour, language and physical characteristics. However, in the cultural iceberg, what may not be visible are social skills, wealth, religion, knowledge, politics, bias, family traditions, sexual orientation, just as a number of examples.


With difference comes different ways of thinking, being, doing and learning than working and we recognise this by upholding four core pillars into our work. These four pillars are. Looking after our people, new ways of working, a sense of belonging and growing for the future.


Thanks for watching. And feel free to leave a comment on this video to encourage ProjectsM’s approach to shared learning.

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