We define Personal leadership as the way we lead our lives and relate to others at any moment during our lives – at home, with friends and at work. The way we lead our lives is determined by all the big and small choices we make. We can shape our lives by making conscious and intentional choices.
Personal Leadership in the world of Many Truths
Many Truths takes the stance that culture and diversity management is a matter of Personal Leadership. It entails more than just understanding the cultural differences and knowing how to treat the elderly in China or how to get things done smoothly in Brazil. This knowledge and various repertoires of behaviors are of course useful – and we do offer training in these areas. But the process does not stop there. The next step is to exercise Mindfulness in all your intercultural encounters.
Even after extensive culture training and years of expatriate experience, you will still encounter intercultural situations where you feel puzzled, frustrated and triggered. What you can do then is slow down and adopt an attitude of genuine curiosity and non-judgment. In other words, try to be mindful about the situation and especially to what is happening to you, physically and emotionally. And from there, make conscious and intentional choices as how to re-open the conversation with people with Other Truths.
This is what we mean by Personal Leadership in the world of Many Truths. Mastery of Personal Leadership in the world of Many Truths takes continuous, conscious and intentional efforts. Since we will encounter new people and new situations every day for the rest of our lives, our journey will be never-ending.
(Our vision of Personal Leadership in a culturally diverse world is inspired by the book “Personal Leadership” Flying Kite Publications, 2008 by Barbara Schaetti, Sheila Ramsey, Gordon Watanabe)
Practice what you preach
Having lived as an expat for more than half her life, Masako knows what personal leadership in the world of Many Truths takes. She does not pretend to have mastered it, but she practices it every day and it has become second nature to her.
A puzzling moment in an intercultural situation is more often stressful than fun, certainly when we are under time and performance pressure. But any puzzling moment teaches us a new perspective that we never considered before and bring us closer to deeper mutual understanding and better solutions. “We all have our truths and nobody has the whole truth”.