We’re six people sitting around a table, some of us met some days ago for the first time, the rest less than a year ago. We all come from different parts of the world : China, Switzerland, France, Lebanon and Mexico; we all studied different things : engineering, hospitality, arts and physics; our ages range from 22 to almost 32 years old…small scale Babel, and yet we’re a great team!
Innokick’s Summer Academy is a great opportunity to test the soft skills acquired during the year of studies. We all face a great challenge : to conform a functional team as fast as possible to develop a one week project. As you might imagine, this is no simple task given that the only language we have in common is not the mother tongue to anyone of us : english.
But the main difficulty is much deeply rooted in each of us. Our cultural mindsets constantly come into play. Setting a main goal and priorities is quite a challenge when beliefs, motivations and convictions of six different people intervene. Intelligently but luckily too, we managed to find the perfect formula for success quite quickly. So, how did we do it?
Open up, show your best and smile!
In order to get there, we had to set all our prejudices aside; listening and trying to understand what pushes each one of us to do and act as they do is central. We often have to explain things several times and in different ways, this is the only way we can be sure we all understand things the same way, and that our efforts are directed the same way.
For example, one thing we realized quite quickly is the fact that our chinese colleagues hardly say “no”, trying to satisfy us and to move things forward. This is not to say the chinese are liars, they are quite propositif and resourceful; but they are also faithful companions who don’t feel at ease telling you the bad news.
Adaptability is a key skill to develop and to share with the chinese. This will eventually lead to an equilibrium where everybody will find his or her place, accordingly to their profile. For this reason, the first challenge we did as a team was a rallye in Shanghai city. This exercise turned out to be a great ice breaker, fun and unusual, that bounded us for a great week of work.
So remember: remain genuine but also accept and understand what this means to the others… Have fun!
Groupe 2 : Aya, Lise, Sebastián, Cong