Brenda Knights Narrative
Different cultures communicate differently, and you have to be respectful of what’s valued in each culture. You have to be adaptable to that. There’s a story about a cowboy who meets with an Indigenous man, and they’re trying to get to another city together. They were using each other’s resources to get there, but they couldn’t communicate and speak the same language. The cowboy kept talking and talking. The Indigenous man was thinking: won’t think guy ever shut up? He’s not respectful. Our elders taught us to listen. Why does he keep going on and on? Why doesn’t he stop? The cowboy was thinking, this guy is rude. He’s not answering me. I’m trying to be his friend, but he hardly speaks. You can see the differences in culture. That expands around the world. We’re a global society and we need to be aware of what’s respectful and what’s disrespectful behaviour to your audience.
Forgiveness and understanding are also important, as is showing that you care enough to learn. Everyone’s bringing different cultural values that they’ve been brought up with. When you gain an understanding of where people are coming from, it’s easier to deal with people in your network. You have to adapt to different people.