Published on: July 23, 2015
This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.
Hi, Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy, coming to you this week from Hood River, Oregon. Those of you watching the video may find the wind noise to be a little distracting, but that's the price of having a great view of one of the most spectacular areas in this region.
A couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Content Guy and I decided to do some white water rafting, and we spent the day on the White Salmon River. It was terrific, and I even went over a small waterfall, hanging on for dear life, but without falling out of the raft. On that trip, we shared the raft with our guide, as well as a father and daughter. The father was probably about my age, and lives in Israel. His daughter, who had just graduated from school and was about to begin a career as a naturopath, was very nice ... and she also had this little beard, which was a little longer and fluffier than mine.
I have no idea what her deal was, whether she was transitioning or maybe just likes facial hair, and don't really care ... but it was something I did notice.
Later that day, we went to a favorite brewpub here in Hood River for burgers and beer, and at the table next to us there were two women, probably in their mid to late thirties, with about four children. And it occurred to me while I was sitting there that just a few years ago, I probably would have assumed that these women were friends, that their husbands were not around, and that they were taking their kids out for dinner. But today, I realized, that could be a faulty assumption, because in fact they could've been partners, could've been married, and the kids could've been theirs together. Again, I have no idea what their deal was, and don;t really care ... it's none of my business.
But it seems to me that this offers an important lesson for everyone in business these days. We can't make assumptions about people, their lives and their personal circumstances. We just can't. The world is a far more complicated and diverse place than it used to be.
Sometimes we can't help it. I was guest-teaching a class at Portland State the other evening, and during a class discussion one of the women students referred to her fiancée. In a follow-up question to her, I referenced her boyfriend, and her response made it clear that her fiancée was, in fact, a woman. She didn't seem mad at me for my word usage, but I sort of kicked myself for forgetting my own lesson.
it isn't just about not making judgments. It is about not making assumptions ... about our employees, customers, and business partners. Our even our friends and acquaintances.
The world may be more complicated, but if we approach it with an open mind and an open heart, it doesn't have to be a more difficult place with which to deal.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind ... and next week, I promise a FaceTime video with less wind.
- KC's View: