Plus3 Global Projects

Blog Post 3 - "Diversity and work"

MAY 24th, 2021

Juan Lozano
Student

    Coffee is one of the very best drinks in the world; I really enjoy tasting, preparing and smelling it at mornings, right after I am done working out. One of the things that have amazed me the most is that I am not the only one with that perception ––not that I thought I was–– but I have got to meet people from four different countries that think just like I do: coffee is the 21st century daily bread. However, there are plenty differences when speaking about it. Tinto, americano, cargado… those three names refer to the same thing: black coffee. Funny, isn´t it? well, my last two weeks have been around these sorts of differences with my peers, and I must admit, I have loved it.

 

     Even though I enjoy learning about cultures different than mine, covid has made it a bit harder than it used to be. Zoom is not my best friend ––nor is WhatsApp–– because for me, building a working relationship goes along with trusting and sharing moments with other people. Maybe it is because I am from Colombia ––and us, Colombians, really enjoy speaking and getting to know different persons–– that it is not enough just to see someone behind a screen. There are many challenges that me and my group have had to overcome. We all are in different majors, so there are plenty perspectives for the same situation; we have managed to listen to one another and respect everyone’s position, though it has certainly not been easy for me. Besides, given that in Latin America we are still in classes, the timing has been a big issue to overcome. Another challenge has been communication, in spite of my best efforts, there have been times where I have not been able to find the right word to spell out my thoughts, and it is kind of infuriating sometimes ––but my colleagues from the US have been really comprehensive with it, which I really appreciate––.

 

     Nonetheless, it has not been all bad, actually, I believe otherwise. I have had the chance to meet these amazing guys from US, Brazil and Peru. We are not alike in many things, but I can see we all are trying our best. I have tried to put myself in others´ shoes and have managed to understand the differences in the way we communicate ––I am usually very open when speaking with someone else given that I come from a high-context environment–– and I can say that I am very happy with the results. We all are good at what we do, so regarding the project, it has all gone smoothly.

 

     “Trust” is a very extensive and complicated word for me. Trusting someone is not easy, and even less when it is a working environment. I would say that me and my teammates have got to create a bond. More than trusting each other, I think we believe in the capabilities and attitudes each of us has; along with it, we set the basis on “every person knows what they need to do”. We all have a specific task to be fulfilled, and the whole project relies on that bond we have managed to build. I would normally get to know all of my teammates in a personal base, so that working would be easier, though I understand that not all of them are used to do this when working on a project. Therefore, I have tried to keep things very professional but also enjoyable. We have had pep-talks about some trivial stuff, and that has been really funny and interesting.

 

     I believe that the success key when working with people from a different culture, is to be opened to everything. Be open to talk, to discuss and to see things from another set of eyes. Working on a team is never an easy task ––it does not matter if your peers are from your country or not–– because in a group, you need to listen actively to fully comprehend the ideas of others and to not lose track of what you are trying to accomplish. I have always liked to use the analogy of the clock when working with others. A group is like a ticking clock: if one of the parts is not aligned with the objective, it stops working. It cannot be clearer, every single individual inside a group of people, needs to be headed towards the same objective and a bond of trust needs to be created within all the members.

 

     I personally believe that I have been a mediator in my group and have taken my role as group leader seriously. I try to listen to what all of my teammates have to express, and all of them have been really opened to talk as well. There is a clear synergy within Global CBPU. And not only in a professional way ––in my personal opinion–– but I think we have connected as people as such.

 

     The job we have been doing goes along the core values of the company and the project objectives. Prioritization and sense of urgency have been clearly present in our daily work, and that have led us to hand in really good solutions to the problems presented to us. Everybody’s thoughts and beliefs are taken into account and worked upon.

 

     Diversity is a key point of globalization, and we live in a globalized world. The key for working in a cross-cultural team on a cross-cultural project is to be opened ––as said above–– and to respect others by actively listening to them.

     Going back to our coffee discussion, I believe that one of the reasons that I love this drink for, is because of its importance worldwide. Coffee is not just a drink; it is a well-defined brand. It has a personality ––sincere, active––, it has a purpose ––to enhance every single person lifestyle––, it also has a promise (it is not properly defined, you need to look beyond) ––to be a healthy drink–– and as such, all the aspects that make a brand are possessed by this amazing drink. Why is it so important? the reason is simple: it has managed to get in everyone´s lives. It does not matter where you are from, if you get to drink a cup of coffee, you will be delighted by its flavor, color and other attributes.

     Coffee is an example of a cross-cultural thing. It does not discriminate anybody, it helps everyone with their daily activities, it goes beyond other drinks. Why cannot we all be like coffee? The key to success is clear: do not discriminate, be opened and versatile, help others empower in their daily life… and you will become (almost) as good as coffee.

 

Thanks for reading!

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