Business communicators learn need for diverse education
By Amanda Belcher

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

For the past six years, Dr. Dan Modaff has studied the Native American Tribe called the Lakota. He not only has completed a substantial amount of research on these people, but has also lived in their reserve, talked with them, and become friends with the Lakota people. How would an Indian Tribe have anything to contribute to the modern world of communication? 
For Dr. Modaff, this is any easy question to answer. It is clear that the communication in our businesses and organizations is struggling, and it just so happens that the communication styles of this Indian Tribe could be the solution to our modern day problems.
Dr. Modaff is the new head of the Department of Communication at WKU. The nternational Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is housed in the communication department, and it was our desire this semester to invite our new department head to our meetings and to become acquainted with him. We have several exciting plans underway, and we are 
fortunate to have such a strong sense of support from our department head! 
Dr. Modaff not only came to our Oct. 26 meeting to sit in and hear about our activities, but also to speak to our group about a new, but ancient way to communicate. His passion for this topic flowed out through his words and left all of us amazed and intrigued. Dr. Modaff had much information to share, and all of it was very interesting.
One thing he discussed may be one of the simplest ideas, but could also be one of the most different ways of thinking. The Lakota believe that everyone and even everything is related; therefore they treat everything with the same respect in which we would have for our closest family members. This concept itself, if implemented in our everyday life, would completely change the way our organizations are run. There would no longer be competition, but rather collaboration within organizations as well as between organizations. 
As interesting as this may seem, the more Dr. Modaff shared with us, the more we understood how the Lakota beliefs are very applicable to organizational communication. We learned several new ideas from Dr. Modaff and his studies.
IABC is very proud to have had him featured in our latest meeting, and we eagerly look forward to learning more from him and the Lakota. We greatly thank him for visiting our student chapter, and welcome him to the Communication Department.

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