South West Training Blog

Articles, tips, guides and blogs around business skills, training, professional courses and development in addition to South West relevant news.

Cultural Competency - A Military Perspective

Cultural Competency - A Military Perspective

When thinking of culture, first thing that comes to mind for most people is the culture of a certain country or ethnic group. However, working fields also have a specific culture. The military, for example, has a distinct culture that can cause problems when military staff are required to see a therapist.

How can the cultural gap that arises in such a situation be bridged?

Maybe you have never heard of the term “cultural competency,” i.e. the understanding, acknowledgement and appreciation of a therapist concerning the differences between his patients and the effects these differences have on the therapy itself.

However, according to Bret A. Moore, mental health professionals are strongly aware of the phenomenon. In his article on the Air Force Times, he sheds a little more light on how to increase cultural competency.

According to Moore, cultural competency often encompasses characteristics such as race, religion and geographical factors. In addition, he says, Clinicians involved in treating military staff have recently stated that the military also has to be regarded as a culture in itself. This can influence psychotherapy for people in the military. Moore believes that gaps in the cultural understanding between a therapist and his client can not only lead to frustration and confusion, but might affect the progress of the therapy as well. In fact, he says, these gaps can even result in the patient ending the therapy sessions early. Thus, he thinks that stating the most common gaps in cultural competency will lead to better treatments.

Firstly, Moore states that the most important difference between military and non-military civilians is language. Military speech is filled with acronyms and slang and can be adapted in a heartbeat in order to communicate information as efficiently as possible. However, Moore says, this jargon can lead to miscommunication and frustration during therapy sessions . To illustrate the degree in which military language differs from regular speech he gives the following example:

"I recently ETS’d from Fort Hood after six years as an NCO, where I worked in the S2 shop. Now, all I seem to be doing is working as an RTO or watching troops PMCS’ing vehicles all day. Hell, I was trained as an 11 Bravo. And wouldn’t you know it, DFAS screwed up my partial DITY and I still haven’t gotten paid since I in-processed."

Next to language, military staff are often solution- instead of problem-focused, Moore says. As therapists often focus on the past and the subconsciousness, Moore believes the standard question “How does that make you feel?” can severely get on the nerves of a solution-oriented patient. In addition to this, Moore thinks the military focuses more on “the group” than regular society does. In fact, he says, individuality and independence are seen as a possible threat to the cohesiveness and morale of a military unit. Therapists must also keep this in mind when treating a patient from the military.

In conclusion, Moore advises military staff that when they believe cultural differences between their milieu and that of their therapist are in the way of their therapy, they should address this to their therapist as soon as possible. After all, this will save them and their clinician not only time, but frustration as well.

Do you work internationally or cross-culturally? Check out our international business skills training courses which all cover cultural competency to a certain degree.

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Accounting & Finance Skills

Accounting & Finance Skills

Did you know that the word accountability derives from accounting?

Although finance and accounting may (for some) be quite daunting concepts to approach, it is important to understand the benefits of understanding basic financial management skills for business purposes.

A recent opinion article beautifully explains the origins and deemed importance of accounting in capitalist society from a historical point of view. For example, “In Renaissance Italy, merchants and property owners used accounting not only for their businesses but to make a moral reckoning with God, their cities, their countries and their families.”

A basic understanding of some of the following concepts are in fact vital to business success:

Learning how to read, understand, interpret financial statements is crucial to the sounds running of a business, getting investors interested and managing risk.

Furthermore, understanding basic accounting concepts, such as the relationship between profit and cash will enable sound business decisions, drive up performance and increase effectiveness.

Today, we are a part of a society which has passed responsibility onto experts, which means that much of the wider population is unfamiliar with basic accounting and finance skills. This is quite a shift from the past as for instance in the 1500s in the Netherlands, most of the population knew how to do double entry bookkeeping. In fact, “Not only did the Dutch have basic financial management skills, they were also acutely aware of the concept of balanced books, audits and reckonings. They had to be. If local water board administrators kept bad books, the Dutch dyke and canal system would not be well maintained, and the country risked catastrophic flooding.”

Perhaps it’s time to put double entry bookkeeping back on the agenda if we want to be a part of an accountable society?

Check out our finance training courses coming up.

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Join Us for Our Open Day

Join Us for Our Open Day

You're invited to our Open Day May 6th!

Come and join us to officially open our new training centre and meet with other local businesses for a bit of networking and nibbles.

We welcome you to come either between 12:00-14:00 or 18:00-20:00 on Tuesday May 6th 2014.

Networking Scavenger Hunt!

To make this time valuable for you, we are going to hold a Scavenger Hunt! You'll find out information about other local businesses as well as spread the word about your own. The winner will win a prize, but shhhh, it's secret…come and find out what it is ;)

We would love to see you on the day, so get that diary out and pen us in!

To register, please email Caroline on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For directions, please visit the 'Finding Us' section on our Training Centre page.

 

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What makes for the Perfect Training Centre?

What makes for the Perfect Training Centre?


Proximity

For a business it is good to have local facilities that avoids to go too far to find the right place. It saves time and money. This is the reason why we think that our training facilities can help regional businesses to develop.

Comfort

To learn, you need to be in the right conditions. Our rooms are spacious and comfortable. We want them to be right environment for you to bring away as much as you can, in the right conditions.
The training centre also includes a lounge. Perfect to have a break with some refreshments, it is also a good place to talk with the other attendees. It is available all day.

Adaptability

According to needs and expectations you would not need the same room organisation. Therefore we chose to have a room that can have different arrangements to set up the optimal lay out for the training.
The rooms can host up to 15 people. We also have also 2 smaller rooms (up to 8 people).

Experience

When you have no experience, you can make mistakes easily. We have got a 10 year experience in the field of trainings. It enables us to deliver high standard trainings.

Quality trainers

A training is totally useless if the trainer has nothing to learn to you. Our trainings are delivered by first class trainers. We only work with trainers have many years of expertise in various business sector as well as on the subject matter.

Attention to people

We think that respect is an essential value in life. If you come at our trainings you will find professionals that are passionate about how you learn and that make customer service their priority.

 

Written for Bob by training intern Elorn Causer.

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