Honolulu is a big little city. People know each other, grew up together, went to the same school or have mutual friends. In a place like this, community matters.
Sometimes we are asked to help our clients engage with their communities or communities where they do business. Some are really good at it – they are naturals! But some don’t know where to start. We help them all. It’s good for Hawaii and it’s good for our clients. We help them figure out who makes up “their” community, what’s important to them, how to best communicate with them and how to make a project or event something that succeeds on all levels.
Aloha is a phrase used too lightly. Talking to community members and listening to them demonstrates aloha. Businesses that get input and perspective from others before making big decisions are doing the right thing. They are pono. I learned this from my Tutu (Nalani Ellis) and my Mom (Aunty Betty Jenkins), but not everyone who does business in Hawaii had the same upbringing. Some come from other cultures and don’t understand or even realize how things are done in Hawaii.
Here are a few pointers:
- Listen more than you speak
- A little humility goes a long way
- Respect the culture and our kupuna
- Sometimes the direct way is not the quickest
- Don’t come empty handed (and I mean this in the deepest sense)
I hope you will follow our blog posts as we launch the CP Blog. Like the local landscape, we are a diverse team with a wide range of thoughts, ideas and perspectives. We are writing to provide unique and hopefully valuable content. We love this place we all call home, and strive to contribute to keeping Hawaii a beautiful place to live and to raise our families. Malama Pono.