Managed to get most part of the office together in our beautiful little UNICEF patio to stop time for a moment.
My time here is running to an end, and I will soon be leaving another country and yet another office. Things are to be learnt in every new place one works in, the interpersonal culture, the working structures and the hierarchies, as well as the protocol and the information flow. Each office is very different and it’s always a challenge to quickly understand what the underlying structures and limitations are, who the individuals in charge of energy and priority flows are, locating the true diplomat, the drama-starter, the teacher, the caring parent, the inspiring genius and those people that will be your trusted and remembered friends always. So, tailoring one’s communication style and interpersonal approach comes with each new culture and place, and isn’t always the easiest task – I have been trying to extract the essence of what is efficient and what is not. The key is, however, that it’s simply different in each and every place, that it all depends on the individuals, and that the contrasts are huge – which makes it an even more fruitful learning experience.
The concept of “different perspective” is a great example of what in some places is very appreciated, and in others hard to apply. Innovation, change, creativity, observations, improvement and other buzzwords that mean the world and people love using and always ask for, but aren’t always prepared to receive. How does one value creativity, anyway? And most importantly, how does one value individual, personal opinion and observations? On my own part, I have learnt to love feedback and always ask for it, as there is no thing that makes me and my abilities grow more than a set of well crafted, constructive comments. Sometimes they are known to you, sometimes they are difficulties you already knew you have to work on, sometimes they are qualities you had no idea you were actually really good at or impressions you have created that turn out to be a complete surprise. And no matter if an observation one receives is “valid” in one’s own opinion and one chooses to take them into consideration or not, they have been the impression of somebody. That’s the most beautiful and powerful thing about opinions and perspectives, there is no such thing as a wrong one. Which is why I measure them in gold.
People here in the office have been great in many ways. I have been under the direct supervision of two leaders with open doors and a huge amount of experience, supporting, advicing and sharing. I have met people that have been in the system for many years, and had long talks about just about anything with people who like to inspire and the drivers who like to tell interesting stories. Most importantly, I have learnt a lot of new skills professionally, gotten advice on directions to continue in, and made new friends.
So I am very happy to have this picture to remember where all of it originally came from. Thank you all!
By the way, I’m taking the picture with my Canon EOS 6D smartphone application, how wonderful is technology?!