Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness: 5 Things to Know

cultural awareness

Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness: 5 Things to Know

Have you heard of cultural sensitivity? How about cultural awareness? Many employers now provide cultural awareness and sensitivity training. This is because many companies feel a social responsibility to the communities they serve. This article will look at five aspects of cultural sensitivity and cultural awareness in the workplace.


  1. What is the difference between cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity?

Cultural awareness is a person’s understanding of the differences between themselves and people from other cultures. Furthermore, cultural awareness means a person understands how cultural similarities and differences affect their behaviors. Cultural sensitivity means that a person understands cultural differences and doesn’t assign them value.

Cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity are both important. These two ways of thinking go hand in hand. Cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity are things people learn through training and reflection. Workplaces and employees need both to create a great workplace.


  1. Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity start from the top

Company employees look up to their leaders. Thus, cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity needs to start with management. When leaders and managers demonstrate behaviors, others follow.

For example, your manager says non-native English speakers are stupid. When she says this, she demonstrates it is ok to speak negatively about other cultures. Employees may treat people who speak other languages unfairly. Conversely, your friend’s manager teaches herself Spanish to speak to her clients more easily. When she does this, she shows that the company should embrace other cultures.

Acutrans helps its partners’ leaders to implement cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity changes. An easy way to be culturally aware is to provide language services with Acutrans.

  1. Cultural Sensitivity creates behavior guidelines and changes behaviors for good

Cultural sensitivity helps people understand how they can change their actions in a positive way. A culturally sensitive employee understands that different cultures consider different things appropriate. Cultural sensitivity training lays out how people can interact. In addition, being culturally sensitive means you are aware of your implicit biases. An implicit bias is an unintended prejudice created by your social environment. A person who is aware of their biases will be a force for good.

At Acutrans, we train our partners on cultural differences and how they relate to language. We teach our partners to be compassionate and culturally sensitive to all non-native English speakers.


  1. Cultural Awareness reduces miscommunications

Different cultures communicate differently. People speak thousands of languages around the world. When employees are native speakers of different languages, people need to be patient. Bilingual people still forget words and phrases!


Furthermore, communication isn’t just language. Communication is how information is given. Employers in different countries evaluate their employees differently. For example, a female employee from France is working with an American boss. It is time for the employee’s annual performance review. The American boss downplays her negatives and accentuates her positives. In France, bosses only focus on negative attributes for performance reviews. Thus, the French employee thinks her performance is good. In fact, the American boss does not like the employee’s performance. American bosses try to soften negative ideas with many positive ones.


Acutrans understands that miscommunication loses money. Our linguists will make miscommunication a thing of the past. Our on-demand interpreting services can help smooth over any misunderstanding.


  1. Acutrans can help you create a culturally sensitive and aware workplace

Acutrans has more than 20 years of experience in cross-cultural communications. During our time, we have helped educate clients on cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity. Acutrans believes that language services can drastically increase cultural awareness and sensitivity. On-demand interpreters help people from different cultures communicate effectively. In addition, translation services assure better comprehension and uptake across multiple languages. Our account managers and project managers are trained to be culturally sensitive and aware. They will guide you through every-day communication delicately and efficiently.

Visit our website for more information about our language services.