Becoming Our Best


Recently, Maria, the daughter of our friends Luis and Nohemi, was married in the village of Tequilistlan, Mexico. We were honored to be invited to attend this wedding celebration in another cultural setting.

And it was most interesting to note the ceremonial differences, ranging from a Mariachi band playing the wedding march, hymns and the reception music, to a liturgical moment involving passing of coins from the hands of the best man to the husband’s hands and finally to the hands of the wife. In addition, the depth of the marriage commitment was set forth in a very rich and complete manner.

These kinds of experiences in another culture bring to mind some things that can help each of us be welcome guests, wherever we might travel. Here are a few ideas that may be helpful for you, your family or team members:

Don’t expect people to do things the same way you would at home.

Be ready to learn about the “what’s” and “why’s” of the other culture.

Withold judgement if you see something you don’t understand. Look at the situation from their point of view.

Act as if you are a guest in someone’s home and honor their ways of doing things.

Try to learn at least “please”, “thank you”, “good morning”, “good evening”, “hello” and “goodbye” in the other language. It will pay dividends far beyond the smiles of the listeners.

When you have the opportunity, take advantage of these intercultural experiences and learn from them. With each one, you will find yourself more at ease in other countries, and better able to relate to the residents or business people you meet there. Then help your team members learn ways to become more culturally sensitive. Everyone will benefit.

Author: Bruce Johnsen Management Consultant:
824 Munras Ave Suite G
Monterey, CA 93940

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