Building Cultural Competence

Building Cultural Competence

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The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is offering a program to help leaders in the region build their cultural competence. See how you can apply before the deadline.

As the world gets smaller and markets expand, there is the need for better understanding and higher levels of cultural competence, and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is helping with that right here in the Queen City with their Building Cultural Competence program. 

Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Senior Director of Leadership Programs, Amy Thompson

The program, sponsored by Ohio National Financial Services, helps leaders in the region to develop skills for building bridges across the cultural, political, and social divides in the area.

Building Cultural Competence runs from September through December and includes a variety of session topics including building the case for cultural competence, building rapport across cultures, the role of emotional intelligence in bridging cultural differences, and listening and learning in conflict. 

“Research continues to show us that the most effective teams are diverse and they leverage the diversity within the group,” explains the Chamber’s Senior Director of Leadership Programs, Amy Thompson. “As leaders strive to enhance their leadership and effectiveness it is critical that they add cultural competence to their toolbox.”

The overall goal of the program is to help enhance others’ understanding of their own worldview and cultural identities including implicit and unconscious bias while increasing their knowledge of differences viewed through race, ethnicity, and gender. The program also aims to give its participants the tools they need for communication and behavior to bridge the differences in cultures while creating an on-going, cross-cultural dialogue that examines how to increase inclusion in the region. 

Priya Dhingra Klocek, President & CEO of Consultant on the Go

Thompson says the program has shown great results since its inception. “More than 174 leaders have graduated from the program demonstrating statistically significant change in their cultural competence,” she adds. “As we strive to make our region’s businesses more inclusive and our community more welcoming and inclusive this is a critical program for leaders at all levels.”

Oxana Prokhorova, Director of Global Engagement for the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati, participated in the pilot group for Building Cultural Competence. As someone who speaks several languages and has lived in Europe, Asia, and the United States, she found the program to be a humbling experience. 

“The program showed me how much I need to learn and how hard to work on my blind spots,” she says. “It changed the way I interact with people forever and it made me more reflective and compassionate. It made me a better communicator and changed my interpersonal relations – with my daughter and my parents – and pushed me to acknowledge and validate people as they are.”

Prokhorova says this program is something that is needed now more than ever. “Culturally competent organizations repair divisions – racial, social, political, economic, and cultural,” she says. “We need this now more than ever. We express ourselves differently due to our life experiences and different cultural components, yet we have an innate ability to hear each other. And this ability to hear and validate brings harmony, richness, and efficiency to everything we do. It brings peace. It allows us to build a better home for everyone. Together.”

Building Cultural Competence is facilitated by Priya Dhingra Klocek, President & CEO of Consultant on the Go and a team of content experts including Eugene Partridge, Robin Shabazz, Tommie Lewis, Janet Reid, Vincent Brown, Gabe Gottlieb, and a panel of faith leaders.

“I want to help organizations manage and develop their most important assets: People,” she says. “At my consulting practice we focus on diagnosing and improving the fundamental human interactions upon which all successful businesses are built.”

With more than 20 years of experience working in the areas of Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity, and Change Management, Dhingra Klocek works with her clients collaboratively to find the solutions that will fit their business and cultural needs.

This year’s program is being offered in a blended learning format. Sessions will be virtual and the learning circles can be done in-person or virtual. 

Applications for the Chamber’s Cultural Competence program are due August 21. You can learn more about the program here