‘Our job is to continue to learn’

Lee speaks about improving cross-cultural communication and more.

Rosetta Lee speaks to participants in a recent Mercer Island Parent Edge presentation. Zoom screen shot

Rosetta Lee speaks to participants in a recent Mercer Island Parent Edge presentation. Zoom screen shot

As Rosetta Lee concluded her recent virtual discussion with Mercer Island participants about improving cross-cultural communication, she delivered a vital piece of knowledge to be used as a springboard for what lies ahead.

“Our job is to continue to learn, but in the meantime go forward with the best of our intentions and address the impacts, whatever they may be. I find that most of the time, the impact is good, but every once in a while it’s not, and in those moments it’s critical that we address the impact,” said Lee, an instructor at Seattle Girls School and local and national expert in diversity, inclusion and equity.

Mercer Island Parent Edge brought Lee aboard for a two-part presentation on Oct. 29 during which she also focused on navigating microaggressions.

One of the key elements of the cross-cultural communication workshop was discussing ways that cultural values, power, privilege and differences affect the way people communicate. Internal, external and institutional dimensions of identity and culture that were addressed included race, class, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, age, geographic location, appearance, language, educational attainment, position or title, seniority, status and relationship to power players.

During the navigating microaggressions section of the evening, one of the things that Lee focused on was the practical strategies for what people can do or say when they are the target of, witness to and agents of microaggressions.

Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, and at the age of 10 her family moved to a predominantly white neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. Lee said she did a lot of communication learning on her way to succeeding in school and her career.

One of the participants asked Lee for some tips on becoming more aware of the differences in cross-cultural communication. Lee said that people often make judgment calls on others before getting to know the entire story behind a situation.

For example, someone could be judged as being rude or impersonal if they jump into the middle of a conversation. For them, the overlapping of speech and interchange patterns could be part of their culture, whereas waiting for someone to finish talking before it’s another person’s turn could be part of someone else’s culture.

She referred to a quote from Okokon O. Udo, PhD: “To be culturally effective doesn’t mean you are an authority in the values and beliefs of every culture. What it means is that you hold a deep respect for cultural differences and are eager to learn, and willing to accept, that there are many ways of viewing the world.”

Udo’s viewpoint is a mindset and a practice, not a one-time event, Lee added.

In addressing one’s behavior that may not have been hurtful, Lee said to speak from the heart and be A DEAR: Affirm the person, the relationship, or everyone’s rights; Describe the behavior without judgment; Explain the impact, emotion, filters through which you experienced what happened; Assume positive intent; and Request or suggest different behavior.

Lee added on the navigating microaggressions hotsheet that effective interventions can build relationships, shift attitudes and win over allies.

For more information on Mercer Island Parent Edge’s programs, visit http://miparentedge.org/


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

[flipp]

More in News

t
City marks trees for removal along Aubrey Davis Park corridor

Contractor will take down more than 100 dead or dying trees.

t
Fire crews extinguish second-alarm house blaze

Approximately 50 firefighters were on the scene at the apex of a… Continue reading

File photo
Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Washington releases new forest plan

It outlines ways the state will protect and maintain forest health.

Chris Fagan trekking across Antarctica in 2014. Contributed by Chris Fagan
South Pole or Bust

The story of a North Bend couple who trekked across Antarctica.

t
Williams to discuss Newcastle history at Rotary meeting

The Rotary Club of Mercer Island will welcome speaker Steve Williams, board… Continue reading

King County Council has nine members who each represent a district. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County Council passes $12.59 billion biennial budget

King County Council on Nov. 17 passed a $12.59 billion biennial budget… Continue reading

t
Teen actors bring ‘The Outsiders’ to the virtual stage

MIHS Drama Department digs into S.E. Hinton’s classic novel.

t
Mercer Island Community Fund making an impact in the community

Fund has been a community builder for 35 years.

Most Read