listen more, assume less

Cultural and linguistic transparency, an assumption to be done with. 

At a recent meeting about leadership succession with international delegates, a close friend from India came to whisper wise words in my ear. In simple he said: 'the Americans here want to remove elders from management brashly, you British will do it with diplomacy, but we Indians will keep our elders in the position and respectfully work around them'. His thinking was informative, not as to who was right or wrong, but rather that when meeting and making policy with international delegates and ramifications we must be accepting that we often think and operate very differently. 

To imagine that when we engage which each other that our language and gesture are transparent and not loaded with the values and assumptions of our own cultural backgrounds is what's wrong, not necessarily either of the options being discussed. How important it is therefore to listen more and assume less. 


In the above three examples of behaviour stated by my friend, the same outcome of succession is achieved. Succession is obviously a shared necessity, but culturally the form and process of its achievement are different. The ability to perceive cross culturally, to see the diverse core or underlying assumptions that inform behaviour, has to be the heart of leadership in an international organisation. Krishna consciousness is no exception, and especially wherein Prabhupada stated that the responsibility of a GBC secretary was for life, it leaves us much to think about.

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