The Commons Workshop on Cultural Competence for Organizational Actors and Decision Makers

Scheduled Dates
  • 18th and 19th of July 2017: Victoria (Special Offer: register before 15 June 2017 and you could win a Caribbean cruise for two!)
  • 27th and 28th of November 2017: Ottawa
  • 27th and 28th of March 2018: Toronto
  • 24th and 25th of July 2018: Edmonton
About the Workshop

As the demographics of the country continue to expand, it is becoming increasingly important for those in leadership roles to understand how different people view the world and how they relate to others in it. People often think of culture only in terms of observable characteristics - traditional foods and dress, dances, music, arts, games, traditions and celebrations or greeting rituals. The truth however is that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Cultural aspects of everyday life are often difficult for people of dominant cultures to discern because the practices, traditions, values, and understandings of this group are taken for granted as the norm. There is so much more to culture than meets the eye and the savvy leader is well tuned to what this means for the organization and its mission.

Culturally competent decision makers are aware of and in tune with the various dimensions of culture. They make it their business to understand diversity in verbal and non-verbal communication, in the concepts of time and justice, in the patterns of decision making, in the use of proximity and eye contact. They accept that not everyone values individualism, that to some relationship is more important than task, and that not everyone assigns status in the same way. Culturally competent decision makers can describe their own culture and learn to make decisions which take various world-views into consideration. They understand and accept the differences between equality and equity and choose equity whenever possible. Culturally competent decision makers also learn to view culture in a broader sense. They define culture as more than ethnic diversity and can skillfully support interpersonal communication between people of different genders, ages, faiths, socioeconomic status, educational backgrounds and sexual orientations. These well versed decision makers value diversity and celebrate what it has to offer. They encourage open dialogue and welcome differences of opinion. They are able to explore situations from various world-views and motivate those around them to do the same.

This workshop will assist participants to develop cultural self-awareness. Participants will explore the various dimensions of culture and learn to anticipate cross-cultural communication issues and conflict. They will develop a curiosity and appreciation for diverse perspectives. They will engage in discussions around how to make organizational culture more sensitive to and welcoming of various world-views both within the organization and between the organization and its clients. The workshop combines theory and practice and focusses heavily on discussion and activity based learning. The sessions promise to provide participants with a broadened sense of self and the workplace. Participants will leave armed with many practical tools to use within their own work environments so as to sensitize their staff and colleagues. A high level of cultural competence within the organization will make it both a better place to work and a more successful enterprise.

Learning Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Explain the importance of cultural competence for organizational decision makers
  • Discuss what it means to be culturally competent
  • Demonstrate self-awareness with respects to one’s own culture
  • Explain how values, ethnocentricity, and stereotypes alter perceptions and expectations
  • Discuss the impact of the various dimensions of culture on behaviour
  • Identify changes required to create a more culturally competent organization
  • Develop a course of action including strategies for improving individual and organizational levels of cultural competency
  • Discuss the positive impacts (both internal and external) of developing cultural competence at all levels of the organization
Workshop Faculty
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Nancy Riopel
Nancy Riopel is a dynamic and highly motivated, professional with a Master’s of Science degree in Social Work and Community Services and an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Nancy is passionate about both people and quality, and believes that when you invest in people, you can't help but get quality results. Nancy has put her profound knowledge of human behaviour, interpersonal communication, conflict-resolution and change leadership to diverse uses. She began her career in mental health services and then spent a number of years teaching at the community college level. Nancy now runs her own consultation and training firm out of Timmins Ontario. This business aptly named Humanagement, allows her to focus her attention on diverse components of interpersonal communication and relationships in the workplace. Her areas of expertise include employee engagement, team building and organizational culture. She is committed to helping businesses achieve success by focussing on their most valuable assets: the people. The services provided by Humanagement are all, to some degree, related to growth and development. Nancy provides assessments to clients to help them identify their challenges, clarify their goals, and develop and implement appropriate strategies to meet these goals. Most importantly, she offers hands on integrative implementation strategies and supports to ensure her clients make the changes that are required for success. Nancy provides services related team building, soft skills training, resource management, and technology solutions. She also provides an array of coaching services related to both personal and career development. Nancy is commited to both lifelong learning and continuous quality improvement. She believes that the 7 most dangerous words for business and employees are “we have always done it this way.” For her, this means that successful training always leads to attitude and behaviour change. She can often be heard to remark that her work’s favorite aspect is that it allows her to learn and grow every day.

Program Brochure

Open or download the Workshop Brochure

Registration Fee

Up to 10 days before workshop: $690 + taxes
Within 10 days of workshop: $990 + taxes

Register for 18th and 19th of July 2017: Victoria

Register for 27th and 28th of November 2017: Ottawa

Register for 27th and 28th of March 2018: Toronto

Register for 24th and 25th of July 2018: Edmonton

What You Need To Know

Printed Materials
Materials required for the purposes of experiential learning, such as scenarios and exercises, as well as all workshop materials, are provided in printed form.

We know schedules can get quite busy, and we know last minute cancellations often wreak havoc on those schedules. That is why, as a measure of certainty, The Commons Institute rarely cancels its programs. We believe this puts us in a class of our own, and delivers worry-free professional development to the professionals that take our programs.

Locations & Cruise Offer
Our workshops are held annually in locations across Canada. In the event you have a group of learners and don’t see your location listed, please contact us and we’ll be glad to arrange for a workshop at your location.
Regarding our Caribbean cruise offer: the draw is conditional on the receipt of adequate registrations to enable your workshop to proceed. Prize cannot be exchanged for cash. Prize includes cruise component (inside room) only, does not include flight or other transportation to and from port, or incidental expenses. Cash value of prize can be capped at our sole discretion.

Write to: info | at | thecommonsinstitute | dot | com
The Commons Institute
311 Lebreton Street South
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 4L4