Module 4: Building Conversations

4.1 Overview

CommunicationModule 4 emphasizes that learning to communicate effectively with individuals and families is a critical part of nutrition education. Communication provides an opportunity for people of different cultures to learn from each other.

To effectively communicate cross-culturally requires building a specific set of skills. These skills will help you overcome any real or perceived differences with your client or your client’s family.

This module will:

  • Help MCH professionals develop the cultural competency to work effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Provide basic guidance on how to provide effective nutrition counseling.
  • Offer assistance on working with clients in a multilingual setting.

Cultural competence is the knowledge, interpersonal skills, and behaviors that enable a system, organization, program, or individual to work effectively cross-culturally by understanding, appreciating, honoring, and respecting cultural differences and similarities within and between cultures.1 The cultural and linguistic competency skills essential to engaging families from diverse backgrounds are part of the MCH Leadership Competencies. Access background material, learning opportunities, and implementation strategies for cultural and linguistic competency via the MCH Navigator's 5-Minute MCH microlearning program.


1 MCH Leadership Competencies Workgroup. Cultural Competency, MCH Leadership Competencies. Accessed 1/31/2017.