Youth worker competences
Displaying intercultural competence

Is the ability to support successful communication and collaboration among people from different cultural contexts and backgrounds. The youth worker has to address and deal with attitudes and behaviours behind this intercultural competence in [international] training and youth work. He/she approaches ‘culture’ from an identity perspective and understands ambiguity, human rights, self-confidence, acceptance versus own limits, and how geopolitical conflicts influence one’s understanding of these aspects. The youth worker takes these intercultural dimensions into account in their work.

Behaviours
  • reflect on theories, concepts and experiences and applies these with regard to ambiguity and change

  • explicitly wrestles with their own biases, assumptions and behaviours regarding stereotypes

  • use appropriate tools and methods to support the group in deconstructing and reconstructing reality (wrestling with stereotypes, prejudices, assumptions, etc.)

  • reflect on own values and senses of belonging to increase self-awareness and understanding of difference

  • encourage young people to reflect on their own identity and related elements

  • explore the complex connections between identity, personal experiences, politics, society and history

  • identify and deal with issues of power and privilege in and with the group

  • facilitate awareness-raising with regard to conflicts that exist in the society and how they relate to intercultural dialogue

  • recognise and interpret words, body language and non-verbal communication in a culturally-appropriate manner

  • encourage self-confidence and demonstrates [a framed] flexibility in cultural and communicative behaviour

  • am willing to speak a foreign language and overcome resistances and inhibitions

  • am aware of who is included and who not, and use words and actions to include others

  • encourage young people to reflect and exchange ideas regarding issues such as solidarity, social justice, promoting/protecting human rights, discrimination, dignity and equality

  • acknowledge power and privilege, highlighting the potential for it in acts of solidarity

Knowledge
  • knowledge of the notions and concepts of acceptance of ambiguity and change

  • knowledge of the mechanism of bias and how it affects feeling and acting

  • knowledge of identity-related mechanisms and theories (with a focus on cultural contexts and senses of belonging)

  • knowledge of how a cultural environment can shape the understanding of different concepts (such as solidarity or inclusion)

  • knowledge of the concept of a European identity, the values behind and ways in which it supports solidarity

  • knowledge of the theories and concepts of privilege and power relations

  • knowledge of the mechanisms linked to stereotypical constructions of reality

  • knowledge of discrimination mechanisms and how to address them

  • knowledge of human rights, human rights education methods

  • knowing how to speak at least one foreign language

Skills
  • ability to deal with ambiguity and change

  • ability to deal with tension and conflict

  • ability to raise awareness about each other within the group

  • ability to work with interrelated dimensions of culture and identity

  • ability to initiate critical reflection

  • ability to address human rights topics through different methods (human rights education)

  • ability to recognise discrimination and to understand the related mechanisms in order to react properly

  • ability to conceptualise, apply, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information about or in the group

  • ability to speak at least one foreign language

Attitudes
  • readiness to reflect on one’s own in-/out-groups and how they impact on feeling-and-acting in solidarity

  • openness towards the unexpected and towards ambiguity in the group and in the learning process

  • openness and willingness to look at identity, culture and related aspects from different perspectives

  • readiness to confront others and be confronted in a respectful and constructive way

  • willingness to support and empower individuals and groups

  • carefulness to use methods that do not implicitly reinforce stereotypes and discrimination mechanisms

  • awareness that culture is a dynamic and multifaceted process

  • empathy towards people who hold different values and worldviews - beyond in-groups, bubbles and circles

  • perceiving solidarity as a fully inclusive concept that applies to all humans, as well as our planet

  • commitment to address and challenge ‘them and us’ mindset in a group

  • being aware that specific groups such as online communities have precise identities and behaviours to comprehend when reaching out and interacting

  • being supportive to young people to express their identities, being aware of the possible implications, especially online

  • readiness to go beyond stereotypes in people representation, especially when producing digital media

With the support and the contribution of:

With the support and the contribution of:

© Steered and implemented 2023 by SALTO Training & Cooperation Resource Centre