Complexes hold me back

  1. Engineers often believe that everything has a mathematical explanation. They believe in data, and algorithms. As a people ops specialist, my team implements projects which don’t always lend themselves to easily quantifiable measurables. As an example, I’m currently working on a project which aims to increase the efficiency of cross-cultural communication within a global team. There have been many requests to work on this topic, so it is clear that it’s necessary. There are existing issues, difficulties, and misunderstandings but after the completion of the project we will be unable to assess the success of the program. Of course this is one of the disadvantages of the job, but it doesn’t mean that such projects aren’t important. So when I need to persuade engineers to engage with HR projects I tell myself, ‘It isn’t mandatory for everyone to have mathematical knowledge, but it is necessary for everyone to use their potential in the right way, in the right place.’
  2. Find like-minded engineers and seek their advice.
  3. Practice your speech before pitching.
  4. Read as much information as you can about the topic, to try to anticipate any awkward questions which might be asked.
  5. Use humor!
  1. In a high-context culture, similarity is an important characteristic. This is because the majority of the population in high context cultures typically have the same level of education, as well as a shared ethnicity, religion, and history. This collective experience helps people understand even the most implicit of messages. Armenia is a typical high context culture. We always carefully package negative messages.
  2. Trust comes from feelings of emotional closeness, empathy, or friendship. This connection is a challenge for us, especially in professional relationships. We consider our colleagues friends, so we feel ashamed to say anything negative about their performance. That makes objective performance reviews for colleagues difficult. We often think of the company and our colleagues as family and sometimes forget about the business. Recently I came across a statement by Adam Grant where he stated, “A company is not a family. Parents don’t fire their kids for low performance or furlough in hard times. A better vision for a workplace is a community, where people are bound around shared values, feel valued as human beings and have a voice in decisions that affect them.”
  1. Be honest with yourself and with your surroundings.
  2. Set rules for yourself: for example, don’t discuss personal things during working hours.
  3. Always speak up if something needs to be changed.
  4. Use humor to express things where appropriate.

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