I always wonder how I would be able to communicate effectively without coming across as rude and judgmental. It is so easy for people to say things that might come off as disrespectfully because we don't understand someone’s cultural and how they think. In chapter 6, stated by Weaver that cultural competence is the ability to have “the knowledge about a clients culture, have certain values and attitudes that include respect diversity and emphasize helper self-awareness . . . . integrate this knowledge and values/ attitudes with helping skills" (157). The application of cultural competence is an important tool for social workers. For demographics for example, can be used for planning and evaluating of the client population, also "increase understanding of new immigrant adjustment problems, customs and family structure"(Lum 159). With this knowledge, it would farther cultural competence in a social worker. It is also important a social worker understand that history of oppression and understanding those who have been oppressed. In order to gain an accurate picture of a client circumstance, should ask questions about people, events and happenings. I know that many people can make assumptions about a group of people based on what they saw on television, but I come to learn that I must dig deeper and do research and stop making assumptions because it can lead to conflict with someone. Every person has different values and for a social worker it is crucial in the development of cultural competence. In chapter six listed five cultural values "family, respect, harmony, spirituality, and cooperation" (167). Each group of people has their different stance on each value. For example in the African-American and Latino Americans it is important to show respect toward father, mother, and older adults. In the Asian and First Nation People, respect of personhood will communicate reverence of life.
Next in chapter seven, which is entitled skill development, Helms and Richardson define skill as "the capacity to use awareness and knowledge to interact effectively with clients and colleagues regardless of their racial classification pr cultural origins" (185). When I read this chapter I was really excited because it gave information on how I could one day communicate to a client. The process, conceptualization and personalization where listed as three skills in working with clients. Process skills is the opening the interview smoothly, using reflection and helping clients to say what is on their mind. Conceptualization is the ability to think and analysis, and has understanding of what client is saying and understand the themes what they client is communicating. Personalization is learning observable and being able to hear the client’s challenges and give advice without being defensive. I thought conceptualization is something I could work on because when understanding a client I think I will need help in knowing what to do the next for the client. I loved chapter six and seven because I have become aware of myself and areas I need to improve in as a person and one day as a social worker.