For my blog this week, I thought about the cultural diversity I see in my colleagues at school, in my neighborhood, workplace, and within your family. I considered all of the aspects that make up culture, including race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, varying abilities, and ect. After careful self reflecting, I have to admit that I do communicate differently with my colleagues who are close in age, and of the same race; in turn I have noticed that my colleagues of the same race often speak to me differently when compared to their counterparts of another race. In addition, I have noticed that when I am at work or in a public setting and a group of people are present, I tend to gravitate towards people that “look” like me because there is an illusion of undisclosed comfort because I assume I can relate to them on some level. However, I have found that this form of comfort can prevent me from meeting and or interacting with a group of people that I may have a lot in common with.
On a personal note, I have cousins and intimate relationships with people who are biracial Black/White, Latino/Black, American/Jamaican, or American/Trinidadian and I have noticed that I do try to be more sensitive to the cultural differences between each group. For instance, my son’s father is part Trinidadian and I am African American (so my son shares both cultures) and my family is from the south and he makes comments about eating “fried chicken” which is “funny” to me because I don’t eat fried chicken that is just a stereotype that sometimes effects my communication with him. I find it interesting that one of my uncles tend to talk about all races and groups of people, but he often struggles with being himself when his granddaughter/ my cousin is present because he doesn’t want to offend her by making one of his ignorant comments because she is Black/White.
Based on what I have learned this week, I have learned of the importance of being "other-oriented, by following the “Platinum Rule” to help me communicate more effectively with people on a professional and personal level. I have also learned that when interacting with people on a professional and personal level, I need to make sure my body language matches my words. I also learned that I need to remain neutral or unbiased when interacting with the diverse group of families/students and colleagues I work with so that I am more effective in my teaching/facilitating lessons.
O'Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2009). Real communication an introduction. Boston MA: Bedford's St. Martin’ s.