If I were a professor with seventy five degrees hanging on my wall, I would teach a class on Cultural Communication Conflicts. No, I am not referring to Mexicans and Koreans having a hard time understanding each other. I am talking about those of us who are used to being respected and revered for asking questions, being inquisitive, and interacting with others and those who prefer to shut their mouths, sneer down their noses at the questioneer, and later deem you incompetent and ineffective.
I am a questioner by nature. I was raised in a home in which my mother taught me to always ask why, never take anything for face value, and if you didn't understand something by all means raise your hand and speak up!
What I have found working in the corporate world is that people are running scared. They are scared of losing their job, losing face, and offending higher-ups who are so consumed with their status they have forgotten what it was like to be a real person.
I often wonder how it is that one arrives at the place in life where they see themselves as entitled to talking down to others, or better yet pretending as if they don't exist. I know one day I may be in the same position as they, but I cannot see myself treating people the way they do. I'm sure you're saying "Oh come on, are you honestly telling me you treat everyone the same? What about the parolee who pumps your gas or the kid serving you lemonade who's wearing a giant hot dog on his head?" You know, I'm sure I don't treat them exactly the same but I am always cognizant of the respect I give people.
I am not suggesting that we don't live in a world that recognizes hierarchies- we do. What I am saying is that to assume that everyone has the same understanding or awareness of your so-called 'status' in life is absurd! My primary comment for people who conduct themselves in this manner is...GET OVER YOURSELF. If people were not so self-centered and insecure at the same time, they would realize that there are issues bigger than them, bigger than their rank.
Because of this new status shuffle I'm in, I feel that I too must change the way I communicate. I am asking less questions, revising the way I speak to be more directive, less padded. I actually listened to a guy who was facilitating a meeting the other day alternate his words with "kinda, sorta, almost, and maybe". It made him sound like a high school student giving his first public speech. I think one of the positive things I am learning is that when you speak in these situations you should have a solid point of view and not feel like you have to qualify everything so as not to hurt everyone's feelings.
Maybe I need to be more bitchy.....That's all for today!