Familiarization with selected cultural characteristics, history, values, belief systems, and behaviors of the members of another ethnic group (Adams, 1995).
Developing understanding of another culture group that is accompanied by changes in our attitudes and values. It also reflects an openness and flexibility in working with others of another culture (Adams, 1995).
An expanded knowledge that there are both differences and similarities between cultures without placing value judgment on these variations (Texas Department of Health, National Maternal and Child Health Resource Center on Cultural Competency, 1997).
A developed capacity to engage with people of another culture with openness and sensitivity that expands understanding across culture or worldview. This requires respect for values, attitudes, and norms that differ across cultures, as well as the capacity to respond with thoughtfulness and compassion.
A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables that system, agency, or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations (Cross, Bazron, Dennis, & Isaacs, 1989). This congruency must include the developed awareness of the influence of power in relationships, a developed cultural humility, and significant experience of engagement with other cultural frameworks. Cultural competency is the ability to effectively operate in different cultural contexts.