Transforming Perspectives

Cultural Humility

The most important practice of culturally-aware coaching is an attitude of humility. It is recongizing that one's own culture is not the norm or standard by which others should be interpreted by the coach.

As described by Drs. Melanie Tervalon and Jann Murray-Garcia in Cultural Humility Versus Cultural Competence, cultural humility is a lifelong process of learning and critical self-reflection.

Along with this comes the idea that cultures are neither right/wrong, good/bad, or other such dichotomies, but contain all of these elements.

A second aspect of cultural humility is the desire to address power imbalances in situations that are appropriate, such as in a coach/client relationship.

A third aspect includes developing partnerships with individual and group advocates, as they need to be engaged to create systematic change and address power imbalances.


Other Readings

Beyond Cultural Competence: Applying Humility to Clinical Settings - Linda M. Hunt.


"Cultural Humility: People, Principles, and Practices" is a 30 minute documentary by Dr. Vivian Chavez that describes cultural humility and its application in healthcare settings.

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