As a man in ECE, I have often felt that I work in an alien communication world. My current workplace is full of wonderful, dedicated, hard working people. But I am regularly confounded by the culture of communication. It is verbal, whereas I work best in a written communication culture. It is spontaneous while I prefer – well a more organized and boring structure. It is fluid, while I prefer dynamic (there is a difference).
When I think of those that communicate effectively in my universe, I think of the straight-shooters – Stacey, Gretchen, Marzzz, Julio, Zilla. They are different. Zilla is casual, calling me “G”. Marzzz is more formal, “Yes, sir.”. Julio more familar, “Hey Tio.” But they are all straight shooters. No wasted words. Little in the way of small talk. We talk of things we enjoy – motorcycles and male engagement (Marzzz), tattoos and ECE (Zilla), taking over the ECE world (Stacey), community organizing and street art (Julio).
My wife is a straight-shooter. So is my old high school buddy, Anthony. Maybe it’s because I come from a culture of reading between the words… between the lines… that I appreciate these people.
And while I may hardly ever talk to any of these people, I love them all dearly. As a man, I operate in the universe of head nods, smirks and exuberance. I have come to learn to operate in the world of ECE… but it isn’t always easy. Sometimes I don’t need to know why. I just need to know the who, know the what, the when and how.
If I need to know why, don’t worry. I’m not afraid to ask!