I recognize for my abilities, such as the communication skills; the ability to listen, amalgamate and explain. I traveled earlier in my career, during that time I took time to understand cultural innuendo and incorporate the nuances of diverse expectations into conversation and behavior. I prided myself in my ability to clarify intent with a modicum of diplomacy. As time goes by, certain talents define you. They are part of your “brand”. So imagine my dismay, when I returned to my house here in Cabo last week to discover that I had failed big time at the very core competency that I, as well as others, have come to expect from me.
Here’s what happened: The gardener cut down the thick, luscious floral vines that completely covered the palapa – a roof made from tree branches- that shelters my porch. Two years of nurturing this blossoming canopy right down the drain, or should I say, in the garbage can. Why, because Alejandro does not speak much English and my directions, “can you clean up the palapa” were not interpreted as I intended. All I wanted was some dead leaves removed but that’s not what I said. I deviated from my normal tendency to specifics and clarification and used a phrase that does not translate well into Spanish. By compromising my “brand” I compromised the beauty of my garden.