Diversity is everywhere in companies. Labourers, administrative workers, managers, directors, different nationalities and languages, departments with different goals and people with different backgrounds. On an ORMIT project you can come in contact with a broad variety of people with whom you will need to interact to make your project a success. How you cope with these interpersonal challenges is one of the most interesting things in a project.
So too in my latest project in the Customer Service Department of Sodexo, where I helped developing a knowledge database for both internal and external use. Being new to the company and the project, I didn’t have the technical knowledge to tackle these tasks by myself. This meant relying on others for information, problem solving and validation.
For me, not only my N+1 (my immediate superior) was important. I worked closely together with the experts of each department, business analysts, consultants and several others. All layers of the company were represented, from contact center agents to higher management. Needless to say that this has often provided me with both rich experiences and a lot of adaptation challenges. No person is the same, even without looking at their respective ranks and positions.
As an ORMIT’er, you are often new to an environment, and you will want to show that both you and your work can be trusted. During my project(s), I developed some tools that helped me do this. I’ll confide some of them to you now.
I quickly learnt that open communication is something that is often valued in a company environment. Openness, on all levels, shows that you trust the other person and that you are daring to show your view on the matters, even though the other one might have a more highly valued opinion or is more convinced of his own thoughts than you are. In combination with a positive attitude, this often yields the trust of others in you and in your work. Of course you can’t tell everything to everyone, there are always organizational sensitivities to take into account.
Within this openness is also the showing of your involvement. Involvement to the project, but also to the input of others. This can start with replying to an e-mail (lets them know you read it and that you care enough to answer), continues with active listening (important for the quality and efficiency of your work, but also shows reliability), to following up on questions, tasks you asked others to execute or that were asked of you, and on implementations you made. Feedback is very important in this respect. Giving and asking feedback on your work and your attitude and that of others, in the right moment, helped me improve a lot. Don’t be afraid to do this!
Of course a project isn’t always smooth sailing. You will not always get the answers or the involvement you want right away. This is when your relationship with your colleagues comes into play the most. The trust you build up during your project will allow you to get quicker responses and will make the colleagues more accessible to you. My ORMIT trainings, like the Communications training and MBTI training, taught me valuable tips and tricks on how to give feedback, practice active listening and how to see what kind of person you have in front of you and what are the best ways to interact effectively.
All of these experiences give me an edge to improve my way of working with other people, which is definitely beneficial to my projects. Looking back, it are mostly the positive outcomes and the personal relationships you have built up that really stick to your mind!
- Demand Planning Improvements at Axalta Coating Systems
- Knowledge Manager at Sodexo
- Project Manager Multichannel Community at BNP Paribas Fortis