It is About Time!

“No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens,” Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. (Quoted in NY Times Article, Top Defense Officials Seek to End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’).

Did it really take our military 16 years to figure that out!?!

The message that has been sent to those serving our country is that it is ok to lie, but not to be gay.  Even though it is actually against the law to lie, that is better than telling your fellow service people that you are gay.  And, now, 16 years later the military leaders are thinking that maybe they were wrong.

It is about time!  Actually, it is way past time, but better late then never.  How about the message:  accept others for who they are because all humans have more in common than they have differences.  How about the message:  if you are willing to put yourself in harms way for the benefit of your country, we are all grateful.

Good Reminder of Cross-Culture Communication Needs

Just read a Forbes article titled “Technology’s Language Barrier” on the topic of communicating with technology across cultures.  It is an interested article and a good reminder of how we need to increase our cross-culture communication skills as our world shrinks from technology innovation.

Simple mistakes, like not understanding that Chinese women don’t change their names when they marry, strongly impact communication.  As the Internet opens the door to more cross-culture communication, these misunderstandings can occur more frequently and with greater consequences.

The article points out that while English has become the de-facto business world language, most of the 900 million people who have Internet access don’t speak English and 250 million of those people live in Asia.  Being able to effectively communicate with these people is critical from both a cultural and a business perspective.