I have been in this situation a number of times and every time it happens I find it a remarkable experience. It happened in Italy, Spain, Japan….almost every country I have visited – you are at an event and the entire event is conducted in the “official local” language. Tonight was no exception – Portuguese was the lingua franca for the awards banquet. And as I sat there with a buzz around me the voices turned into an almost “white noise”. It was as noisy as it was quiet. I was left to observe, visually, what was going on around me but had little ability to comprehend what was being said. So my focus turned to the remainder of my trip, thinking about how to make an impact in Sao Paolo and how to get my message across to the team in English without losing too much “in translation”. I reminded myself that I would need to modify my thinking, approach and communication style for my conference presentation planned for tomorrow.
The THPL Life lesson that is obvious, but bears mention, is that we live in a diverse world, one that is as similar as it is different. And to succeed when you leave the comforts of you own “world” you need to become a member of the global community which means you need to adjust to where you are and who you are with – we cannot expect that they should come to us – rather we go to them. In so doing we show respect and care and we set ourselves up for success. The difference made with just a shift in thinking will go a long way to bringing THPL with you as you travel the globe – have fun!
Loving life with in the quiet of the white noise