How do you go about building a working relationship with the man without undermining his worldview while maintaining your own Christian ideals?
Shaman is a political clout in the village of Hypothea. This village is located in a remote area of the world. There is a language barrier because Shaman belongs to a different culture whereas the doctor who had a visit in that village is a Christian1. The doctor has been assigned the duty of identification of epidemiologic factors that contributes to a number of diseases in that area. He also needs to introduce the public health measures in order to improve the well-being of the villagers. He suspected that the villagers are suffering from tropical diseases. For that, the doctor needs to develop a relationship with Shaman because he alone has been identified as the factor for doctor to be unsuccessful in doing his research. This is because Shaman had an aura of fear in this village and no one is allowed to speak without his permission.
Therefore, the doctor needs to develop a bond of trust and respect with Shaman. This is due to the reason that interpersonal relationships play an important role in constructing the knowledge, promoting and preventing the health care and traditions to be continued2. He needs to make a conscious decision at first place and as an active step so as to make a difference. He needs to increase his level of knowledge and awareness about the culture to which Shaman belongs to as well as of the other people who are living in that village of Hypothea. In addition to building the relationship with Shaman, the doctor also needs to build the relationship with other people who belong to different cultures.
Also, because there is a language barrier which is acting in their way to effective communication, the doctor can make the efforts towards knowing and learning about the language spoken by Shaman and local villagers so that he could understand whatever they are speaking and communicate with them easily. Doing this, would make the doctor as well as Shaman to feel comfortable in each other’s company. The doctor can also read about the histories of those people. He should make notice of the communication style followed by Shaman and other indigenous people of Hypothea3. He need to make Shaman understand that there are societal influences and forces that isolate the people belonging to different religions, ethnic groups and economic groups from each other.
The doctor also needs to remember that showing the care and love is a fundamental aspect of any relationship. This is because everyone wants be cared about and also caring makes the relationship real4. This can sometime result in melting the heart of other person and breaks their rigid attitude towards them. He can indulge in different activities with the villagers and can behave in a friendly manner with them. The doctor needs to be willing to take risks in his life and need to motivate himself so that he can overcome this barrier and can then identify the relationship between the cultural determinants of disease.
Thus, the above mentioned efforts can help the doctor to establish a friendly relationship with Shaman as well as in building the working relationship with him.
Arnault DS. Cultural Determinants of help seeking: A model for research and practice. Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2009; 23(4): 259-278.
Parrish P, VanBerschot, JA. Cultural Dimensions of Learning: Addressing the Challenges of Multicultural Instruction. Int Rev Res Open Dis. 2010; 10(2): 1-19.
Ely RJ, Thomas DA. Cultural Diversity at Work: The Effects of Diversity Perspectives on Work Group Processes and Outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(2): 229-273.
Watson WE, Kumar K, Michaelsen, LK. Cultural Diversity's Impact on Interaction Process and Performance: Comparing Homogeneous and Diverse Task Groups. The Academy of Management Journal, 36(3):590-602.
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