Mobility, Cultural Agility, & Cultural Humility


  • Mathias, I’m interested in your thoughts on ‘cultural humility’ but there is no article, just the title.
    Richard Keller
    Wellington, New Zealand

    • Dear Richard.
      Thank you for your question; appreciate it!
      I have cited a definition of cultural humility in the image of this post, but it’s indeed worth to elaborate a bit more.
      I think it is essential to see cultural humility as a complementary construct to cultural competency. As research is stating [1], humility may be a more active characteristic of one’s personality. In other words, only with cultural humility, one would have the “willingness” to apply his/her cultural competency. While competency is about knowledge, humility is about openness to learning and communication [2]. Therefore, humility is the quality that triggers and enables cross-cultural learning and competent cross-cultural behavior.
      To be culturally humble means to assume responsibility for diversity. Cultural humility requires (self-)reflection that is based on alertness, flexibility, and curiosity. In contrast, habitual prejudices and un-reflected routines are hindering factors for cultural learning and, therefore, are failing to be culturally humble [3].
      Hope that’s helpful.
      All the best!

      [1] Exploring the Relationship Between Honesty-Humility, the Big Five, and Liberal Values in Swedish Students. (2014). Europe’s Journal of Psychology, (1), 104.
      [2] LOUE, S. (2018). Using Sociodrama to Foster Cultural Humility among Faculty and Students in the Academic Medical Center. Romanian Journal for Multidimensional Education / Revista Romaneasca Pentru Educatie Multidimensionala, 10(2), 45–57.
      [3] Tschaepe, M. (2018). Cultural Humility and Dewey’s Pattern of Inquiry: Developing Good Attitudes and Overcoming Bad Habits. Contemporary Pragmatism, 15(1), 152–164. Retrieved from

  • Sadly, most of us have been taught that mobility is unidirectional – about climbing the ladder of today’s version of success, agility is relegated to the world of athletics (we have a lot of obsessive single-mindedness) and humility is merely a word in the dictionary.

    😎 Sorry to sound so negative, it’s just an observation. Hopefully more people will learn the wonderful things you are teaching and some will go on to teach others and compassion will come back into the mix in our way of formulating ideas and redesigning society.

    • Your comment is, as always, invaluable and encouraging. We need to call things as they are, but I like your positive outlook. We need to believe in the possibility to increase the level of compassion, indeed. Thanks a lot and sending you lots of energy and thrive!