Awareness Avoids Misunderstandings

How many times have you ever offended someone or been offended?  No matter how hard we try, being perfect is not likely to happen.

We’re not talking about world peace, though that is a very worthy goal.  We’re not even talking about national peace.  The news media is full of unrest – mostly because conflict sells papers and attracts viewers.  We’re talking about something much closer to home.  We’re talking about those little misunderstandings in the workplace, community, and maybe even at home.

So What’s the Problem?

Peace is Preferable

Peace is Preferable

An offense may have originated as a recognition someone felt they should have received, but didn’t or didn’t receive to the degree they expected.  It may have been a misunderstanding of a word which had a different meaning intended by the speaker than the meaning the receiver attached.  It could have been a gesture which is perfectly fine in one culture and which has a very negative meaning in another culture.

What brings this topic to mind?  Have I just been offended or offended someone?  Not that I know about.  Business is expanding globally.  Awareness and prevention is much easier on the nerves of an entrepreneur growing a successful business, than damage control after an incident.

One of the biggest concerns for a business is that a teammate, business associate or customer may go away upset and we never have the opportunity to clear the misunderstanding.

Prevention is Easier than Damage Control

Business is expanding on a global scale.  The internet has allowed network marketing to become international

Inner Peace

Inner Peace

online marketing.  Other cultures are joining our teams right here within the United States.  When different ethnic backgrounds, different countries of origin and different belief systems combine there is always the opportunity for unintentional misunderstandings.

Gender Sensitivity

Awareness of the potentially sensitive areas can prevent most of the misunderstandings.  We no longer refer to all executives as male; we now say non-gender specific words.   Professional, executive, CEO, business owner or entrepreneur are non-gender specific.  Instead of “salesman” it is now “salesperson.”  The days of the bra burners and public displays of the women’s rights protest meetings of the 1960s has passed but awareness of some lingering sensitive feelings  remain.  It is much easier to be mentally alert and aware of our word choices now rather than do damage control later.

Create Inner Peace

Create Inner Peace

Ethnic Sensitivity

West Side Story depicted a war (rumble) between two different countries of origin.  When the west was first being settled, mixed marriages between Caucasian individuals and native Indian individuals received a barrage of name calling.  Right here in United States, the civil rights issues have been a major concern for years.   We’re still working to level the playing field.

Issues relating to different ethnic backgrounds are not new issues, nor should they be regarded as totally solved and past tense.  Silly little things like the wild west depiction of the cowboys in the white hats and the bank robbers in the black hats was meant as the contrast of good and evil, but we now know that depiction is inappropriate because of ethnic sensitivity.  It was not meant as ethnic at its point of origin.  Little details can have a totally different meaning to one person than they do to another.  Be aware and be sensitive to the feelings of others.

Awareness of the potentially sensitive areas can prevent most of the misunderstandings.

Religious Sensitivity

Peace Promotes Peace

Peace Promotes Peace

Yeah, I know this is a touchy subject not usually discussed in public writing.  That does not mean that it is not important, but rather that it is very important.  As entrepreneurs building a successful business, we must be aware.

When scheduling events, be aware of certain commonly known religious holidays.  Be aware that from sundown on Friday night to sundown on Saturday night is the Sabbath for some.  There was a time in Europe where no business was to be conducted on Sunday.  Weekends are a seemingly common time to schedule events and yet for some that is problematic.  It is almost impossible to schedule a perfect day and time for all, but awareness can prevent accidentally offending someone.

Awareness of the potentially sensitive areas can prevent most of the misunderstandings.

International Sensitivity

Certain gestures are acceptable in one culture which are highly offensive in another.  The hand signal for ok (making a circle of the thumb and forefinger) is intended as a total positive in most uses, but has a very derogatory meaning in some cultures.  In diving that sign is used to show that all is well, because a thumbs up would mean wanting to go to the surface.  Little innocent gestures in one usage can have a totally different and offensive meaning to another.  Being aware can prevent misunderstandings.

peace of mindYeah, I know.  As if you didn’t already have enough to worry about in the process of building a successful business, now you have to be aware of your words and gestures.  If you don’t have time to become aware in order to avoid offending someone, how will you have time to correct the issues after they occur?  It takes far more time for damage control than it does for prevention.

Your intention is building a successful business, not spending your time putting out avoidable emotional fires.


One of the easiest issues to prevent is team member recognition.  Making a point of publicly and privately recognizing team members for outstanding achievements can avoid hurt feelings.  As a new business builder, the first sale and other milestone achievements to reach higher levels is very significant to them.  A word from you as team leader can expand their motivation and inspire others to reach higher levels.  A few words of recognition can go a long way toward helping you and your team members in building a successful business.

Awareness of the potentially sensitive areas can prevent most of the misunderstandings and inspire productivity at the same time.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Let me inspire you to reach your potential.,

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
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