Sunday, October 13, 2013

When in Rome ……

When in Rome do as the Romans Do”, you must have heard this umpteen times on number of occasions in number of scenarios. I truly believe in this old adage and practise it whenever possible. Let me tell you how I practise it at work and elsewhere to my benefit.
In one of my earlier work assignment I had this golden opportunity to work with different teams spread across the globe, be it Americas, Latam, EMEA and APAC. I being a very loquacious person, I savoured this opportunity to the fullest. This was work with pleasure for me.
Let me share some of the instances with you, on how I practised the adage to my benefit
The French are very proud of their language and very protective as well. While working with the French, my preliminary French knowledge helped me. I would start the conversation with Bonjour, Vouz allez bien? And this would a big smile on their face and a hint or surprise as well, a non-French making an attempt to speak their tongue delighted them and made them interested to continue the conversation and extend a helping hand.  I have been benefitted from these interactions on number of occasions; be it information required to forge ahead, answers to the questions asked or help of any kind, which did not directly fell under their prerogative.

I think, this was possible because of the instant bond that was created because of the attempt made to understand and respect their language, culture etc.; but this absolutely does not mean getting work done from the French or for that matter any other person, one has to speak their tongue or just sweet talk. What I am trying to convey here is; the chord it touches when one speaks their tongue or understand their culture is what does the trick. Isn’t it true? Start a conversation on the great superstar Rajani, to a south Indian or greet them with a Namaskaram, and a very reticent person would turn talkative in no time; this is what breaks the ice and makes the conversations lucid. This breaks all the barriers and infuses a sense of togetherness and an atmosphere of benevolence. Isn’t it simple to practise?
And this phenomenon can be experienced anywhere in any part of the world. “Hola” “Muchos Gracias“ to Spanish, “Konichiwa” to the Japanese, “Guten Morgen” to the Germans or “Namaskaram” to someone down south of India is music to their ears and help open up for conversations. Following these simple but effective methods have done wonders for me at work and elsewhere.
 Also I being well read (wishful thinking Smiley) helped me develop this bond further, talking about Edson Arantes Do Nasaminto (Pele) with Brazilians or Shinkansen (bullet train) with Japanese or for that matter about the Azuris (Italian Football Team) with the Italians could help me initiate a dialogue with these otherwise foreign, unknown people. Discussing things they like or speaking their language exudes empathy towards them, making the conversation and interaction easier, which can definitely make life easier at work and elsewhere, for sure.
In this age of Xenophobia sensitizing people to other cultures, traditions, and languages is a must, for it helps let go hatred and bring people together. The other day I came across an article wherein enterprises are hiring professionals to educate teams to understand different cultures, languages to better gel with the teams spread across and show empathy towards their counterparts. This is the need of the hour is what I think.
At one instance when we were working on one of the most challenging and high visibility project; practising this old adage helped us tremendously to say the least. We were working day in and day out with various markets across all geographies, and that simple greeting in their local language used to bring a smile on their face and readiness to extend the helping hand to great lengths; this definitely helped the entire team, as the ice was already broken and what followed was lucid information flow and help. This good interaction and bonhomie helped us in our project, which otherwise would have been a tough task dealing with people across the world.
We successfully completed this huge project to everybody’s satisfaction and even transcended the expectations of the stake holders. I can definitely attribute the success of this project to the hard work put in by the team and also practising the old adage “When in Rome do as the Romans Do” time and again.
What I learnt from this experience is here to stay with me for long and also going to benefit the project in long run, as the rapport with my global friends is already developed and what is required, is to nurture this bond going forward.
I am pretty sure you have come across these scenarios in your professional and personal life and you have risen to the occasion; if not do make an attempt and enjoy the never ending benefits.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Add your comment