Cultural Awareness and Coaching

Cultural Awareness and Coaching

“Culture – the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group.” OK, that’s the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of ‘culture’ – what’s yours?

Maybe you think about foods you grew up with, or a style of music that was common at family or community gatherings, or a language or way of speaking that you only felt comfortable sharing with people of your same ethnicity or religion or belief system. Did you grow up feeling your culture was not expressed in mainstream media, or did you feel your life was reflected to clearly in all you saw around you that you had no sense of cultural affinity? Or, something else?

Steeped in or living outside of a cultural lens – what does all this have to do with coaching?

Culture can be a source of incredible personal power and shared community. It can also be a cause for inner conflict if you feel pulled between your cultural background and the life you choose to live. In high school I was often the only black person in my classes. Because I had a lot of white friends, other black students said I was not “black enough.” For years this judgment caused me to pull away from the black community until I realized that was someone else’s perception of me, not mine. Releasing that perception allowed me to more deeply claim my African American heritage.

How do your beliefs around culture champion your forward movement, and when do they keep your foot on the brake pedal? I’m here to help you make those distinctions.

Kim is a member of Prism, a group of coaches of color that practices culturally aware coaching.


© 2010 Kim Fowler PCC, CPCC, ORSCC   •   4200 Park Blvd. #155 Oakland CA 94602   •   (510) 534-5160 p   •   (510) 962-9027 f  •  Contact Me