One of the things that I was really excited were the colleagues that I would be working with at my international working placement. This was the first time that I've truly seen so many cultures work together for an extended period of time. It's safe to say that I was never bored and was in an environment of continuous learning. Here are three of my learnings during my three months working in this diverse team.
1. Cultural strengths
Everyone brings individual strengths into the team but there are certain characteristics which are dominant in different cultures. It soon became evident to me who was better at certain tasks, what were their countries focus in their education systems. We saw what everyone bought to the table and were able to build off each other and compliment off one another to best complete our duties.
For example, one of German guys was used to a lot of structure and order, so he was good at helping us maintain discipline and the right processes were being followed. For me, growing up in u
2. One problem - many solutions
Whenever something came up in the company or any one of us had any problems we would always have more then one solution. We had different ways of looking at problems, different ways of analysing it and different priorities when it came up to how it should be solved. Even though we definitely didn't always agree with one another, one thing we always did for sure was respect each other. I quickly realised that different is different and just because this is the norm in your county doesn't make it right to impose it in another country. Some of the best wins that we had in the company was when more then three people actually worked on the project. We took into the conversations our learnings, thoughts and experiences along with our open mind.
3. Conversations never get boring
I didn't just learn things doing my job but a lot of it were through the conversations I had with each other on our lunch break, over morning tea and walking to the train station after work. Our conversations could be about anything, from the news in our country, to the education system back home or simply what our childhood was like. The amount of diversity in opinions and thoughts going into our conversations was incredible. Through these we were able to better understand how each other think and best understand how to best work with one another. The diversity in our workplace was one of the most important things that I was grateful for. It added so many memories and experiences that I will definitely remember.