Culturally Mindful Communication: Essential Skills for Public and Nonprofit Professionals

Document Type


Publication Date



Intercultural communication, Civil service, Nonprofit organizations


Intercultural communication is a necessary skill for those who work in the public and nonprofit sectors, and yet there is a dearth of literature available to help public and nonprofit professionals develop an ability to effectively communicate, interact, and lead in a multicultural society. Drawing on research in intercultural communication, psychology, and public and nonprofit administration, Culturally Mindful Communication provides useful strategies for students and practitioners of public service to improve their intercultural communication skills. Topics include:

  • expectations for public and nonprofit professionals in today’s multicultural society
  • frameworks for assessing cultural differences and similarities
  • verbal and nonverbal communication in the intercultural context
  • stereotyping, prejudice, ethnocentrism, microagression, and social privilege as barriers for effective intercultural communication
  • key considerations for effective multicultural teams
  • approaches for effective multicultural community engagement, and
  • leading with cultural mindfulness.

To facilitate student learning, several useful pedagogical features are employed throughout the book. The reader follows the stories of two fictional characters – Lavita, a cultural coordinator in city government, and Leo, a program manager at a nonprofit – in their intercultural communication challenges in public and nonprofit sectors. Mini-case stories called ‘cultural moments’ are incorporated to illustrate real-world intercultural communication examples and to invite application of the tools and concepts introduced in the text. Each chapter includes a set of discussion questions designed to build on the intercultural communication challenges of Lavita and Leo and the ‘cultural moments’ as well as activities that can be completed in class or as homework assignments. Designed to offer guidance to both current and would-be public servants, Culturally Mindful Communication will be required reading for Public Administration and Public Affairs courses that address diversity and cultural competence, as well as for practitioners looking to develop their intercultural leadership and communication skills.


Published by Routledge

Persistent Identifier