Everyone Has Something to Teach You

And Me

Once we have so many years under our belts, it’s easy to think that we have the answers. This is especially true if you have the role of subject matter expert. Maybe you’re the accountant, the lawyer, the CEO, or the instructor.

But everyone has something to teach me.

Being a consultant and teacher reminds me of this constantly. Whether they’re my clients with 30 years of experience or my students, I’m always amazed at what I can learn.

I teach a course in Corporate Social Responsibility in the International Business Management program at NBCC. Students come from countries like Jamaica, Columbia, India, and Brazil. 

Recently we had a conversation about choosing vacation resorts where employees earn fair wages versus areas where people make much less. In an effort to do the right thing, I always had preferred to choose vacation spots where employees made decent wages.

My students disagreed.

They come from some of these regions. They could see why I was making my decision, but said that some of these employees live in extreme poverty and only work seasonally. These are the only jobs that are available to them. If tourists like me choose not to go, even those means of income are lost to them.

The solution we discussed was travelling to those poorer regions but to tip big and buy from local vendors when you can. 

The high road is not a clear path.

My students gave me lots to think about before I plan my next vacation. And once more, I am grateful for being able to work with smart adults from Canada and around the world.

Will you make a stronger effort to stay open and listen to others’ input this week?  Let me know what you have learned.

Catherine Doucette MEd, CTDP is a Training and Performance Consultant who delivers customized business communications and leadership programs that produce measurable results. 

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