The challenge of reinventing ourselvesBy Margot Cairnes, MBA, B.Ed. (Hons), 12 SFB (12 Steps-For-Business) As our world gets smaller and as the balance of power shifts from Europe and the US to India and China we find ourselves needing to learn and accept more about our cultures that might seem foreign to our own. Culture is such a subtle and unique thing. What is acceptable in one culture can be insulting in another. I have been advised in Asia to “listen for the silences – to take note of what isn’t said”. As a person who is used to speaking her mind I find I need a level of personal awareness that is challenging. How do I balance being true to myself and being respectful of others who hold values, beliefs and customs so unlike my own? Values are also challenged by technology. Recently the CEO of a tourism company was telling me how she dealt with exploding controversy. The company’s Facebook site was being inundated by clients and potential clients complaining about a particular issue. The CEO immediately went live on You Tube – without what would be considered normal preparation – and quashed the storm before it raged out of control. Social Networking has a culture of its own and how we learn and respond to that culture can be imperative to business and political success. How do we balance our own sensibilities with those of the new technologies? How can we be constantly online, and still have time, space and enough sense of who we are to lead our lives in a way that is compatible with our own integrity?
Social Networking has a culture of its own and how we learn and respond to that culture can be imperative to business and political success. How do we balance our own sensibilities with those of the new technologies?
- Continually grow in awareness and knowledge of who we are.
- Be prepared to let go of who we think we are, how we think we should behave and what is acceptable and normal for us.
- Be prepared to immerse ourselves with our new knowledge, skills and insights.
- Give ourselves time and space to integrate the new and accept that we are learning, changing and a work in progress.