My great day at Bridge India…!!!!!
Often times we surround ourselves with people like us found in ‘likely places’. For instance, if we like biking, we join a group that goes biking. If we like public speaking, we join toastmasters. If we like volleyball or cricket, we join a team or find others who like to watch that on television and join along.
These are likely places to meet people that can be like us. But, we often get tricked into thinking that people in ‘other groups’ are not ‘like us’ because they like baseball and not cricket, or like rock climbing and not biking or like reading books instead of public speaking. However, it’s refreshing when we meet people who label themselves differently from us and we realize we have something in common. Our outside interest may not always match, but maybe something deeper like our mindset and values do.
Of course, as a cross-cultural coach I live for these kinds of encounters because every meeting is a meeting of different minds; every meeting is a cross-cultural meeting because of that.
Last week, I met people who professionally call themselves ‘marketers’, ‘project managers’, ‘software developers’ and other titles that basically weren’t going by the title ‘cross-cultural coach’ or ‘life coach.’ It was refreshing to meet the entire team at Bridge Outsourcing because regardless of titles, there were people who had something in common with me. I had a lot of interesting conversations with many different people on the team. There was no dearth of topics to discuss. In fact, I felt the time went by too fast and still if there was endless time, I wondered could we talk and discuss topics of interest forever?
Yes, there were many people in Bridge Outsourcing interested in cross-cultural topics. Of course, there would be right? I would not have guessed it from following their blog- but it is true! Of course I am being sarcastic because they of course have many articles on cross-cultural topics. But, these articles are not simply written packed full of good information because someone is paid to write these articles, but the people here writing these articles really believe in what they write. This can be evidenced by reading their blog, but is clearly evidenced by meeting any team member and talking to them. Each person I spoke with seems interested in learning about cross-cultural topics not only because it’s their job- but because it’s their interest and passion.
You may wonder how this passion was evidenced by me? Was it by the blog articles? Without meeting them, maybe. But with meeting them, I’d say this passion was evidenced by people’s authentic behavior. They were patient, good listeners and communicators and asked questions when confused. This of course not only demonstrates great communication skills, but great cross-cultural communication skills- a willingness to learn about other cultures and mindsets by really being interested in the other person.
I only hope I demonstrated my interest and enthusiasm to meet and get to know them even a fraction of their enthusiasm to meet and get to know me! Their passion, enthusiasm and genuineness is contagious. Anyone would love to work on a team or in an organization like that!
Some may say, Jennifer, you have stars in your eyes because it’s your first visit, of course they will be on their best behavior. To this I say, if it was only a first impression- it’s a great one and hard to be tarnished. But, I doubt my analysis is based on anyone treating me good because it was a first meeting. People here are genuinely nice and interested in others. When you meet such people, you know it. It makes you feel good inside. You know they aren’t faking it just to impress you. You know they are that way because it is who they are and it’s natural for them. How refreshing is that!
It was a memorable and wonderful day spent getting to know everyone at Bridge Outsourcing. I particularly thank Sini for organizing it and forgiving my own cross-cultural faux pass. I of course thank everyone else on the team for just being who they are!