Don't take me wrong , I'm just about to give you "constructive criticism"

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This is what I got from my boss last week: “constructive criticism”. Honestly, I do not know how to feel about this, our talk has been in my head for almost a week now.

  1. I know that music can help people concentrate, but please avoid listening to it for 8 work-hours straight. Germans are very strict with some things, so it’s just a heads-up.
  2. Rely on your colleagues whenever you need to. Remember, it is always a team effort.

About the first one, in my opinion, this is a very outdated way of thinking. I thought we’d come a long way when talking about what makes people productive. Yes, I do enjoy the security of the corporate world, but on the other hand, I can’t stop questioning how should productivity and efficiency be measured. Do we really believe that listening to music will hinder performance? I personally doubt so. In my case, contrary to what I have been asked to avoid, music helps me stay focused and makes the demanding tasks more bearable.

When it comes to the second point, this is an internal battle. I describe myself as a very independent person so these first months have been overwhelming on the personal level. One might think that with 28 years old, a bachelor and a master, one should have learned a lot and yes, I am convinced I did but at the same time, there are moments where I feel completely lost. This feeling paralyses me sometimes because in this opportunity there’s no induction and then going into the ring. This time it’s learning by doing. With almost no time to process the tons of information I have received in these weeks. So I am giving my best to perform in the best possible way under these circumstances.

Yes, I have delivered but at  the same time, I feel a bit ashamed about asking things that might seem obvious to my colleagues. I really don’t know how I can deal with these feeling. What adjustments to make to feel comfortable when have to rely on colleagues and asking for help. It’s a constant struggle between needing help, asking for help and getting help the way one expects: with kindness and patience. Not everyone is able to do that and whenever I feel that a person is unable to give me help the way I need it, it affects my willingness to ask for help in the future to the point that I try to ask for help as my last resource.

I guess it will take some time for me to process these constructive criticisms and hopefully the thought will leave my mind with a clearer understanding soon. On the meantime, I’ll try to educate myself on how to deal with these two situations in a work environment with the hopes of things getting easier to deal with and a simple action plan on what to do moving forward.


Versión en español

Esto es lo que obtuve de mi jefe la semana pasada: «crítica constructiva». Honestamente, no sé cómo sentirme al respecto, nuestra conversación ha estado rondando en mi cabeza durante casi una semana.

  1. Sé que la música puede ayudar a las personas a concentrarse, pero por favor evita escucharla durante 8 horas seguidas. Los alemanes son muy estrictos con algunas cosas, así que es sólo tenlo presente.
  2. Apóyate en tus colegas siempre que lo necesites. Recuerda, que nuestro trabajo debe ser siempre un esfuerzo en equipo.

Sobre el primer punto, opino que esta es una forma de pensar muy anticuada. Pensé que habíamos avanzado mucho cuando hablamos de lo que hace productiva a la gente. Sí, disfruto de la seguridad del mundo corporativo, pero por otro lado, no puedo dejar de preguntarme cuál es la mejor forma de medir la productividad y la eficiencia. ¿Realmente creemos que escuchar música puede entorpecer el rendimiento? Yo lo dudo. En mi caso, contrariamente a lo que se me ha pedido que evite, la música me ayuda a mantenerme concentrada y hace que las tareas exigentes sean más llevaderas.

Sobre el segundo punto, esta es una batalla interna. Me describo a mí misma como una persona muy independiente por lo que estos primeros meses han sido abrumadores a nivel personal. Uno podría pensar que con 28 años, con una licenciatura y una maestría, uno debería haber aprendido un montón. Y aunque no tengo dudas de que de que lo hice, al mismo tiempo, hay momentos en los que me siento completamente perdida. Este sentimiento me paraliza a veces porque en esta oportunidad no hay inducción y luego cumplir con el trabajo. No, esta vez me ha tocado aprender trabajando. He tenido muy poco tiempo para procesar las toneladas de información que he recibido en estas semanas. A pesar de esto, estoy dando lo mejor de mí para desempeñarme de la mejor manera posible bajo estas circunstancias.

Sí, he cumplido con todos las solicitudes que se me han hecho, pero al mismo tiempo me da un poco de vergüenza preguntar cosas que pueden parecer obvias para mis colegas. Realmente no sé cómo lidiar con este sentimiento. Qué ajustes podría  hacer para sentirme cómoda cuando me toque pedir ayuda y poner mi desempeño, de alguna forma, en manos de mis colegas. Es una lucha constante entre necesitar ayuda, pedirla y obtenerla como uno espera: con amabilidad y paciencia. No todo el mundo es capaz de hacer eso y cuando siento que una persona es incapaz de darme ayuda como yo la necesito, esto afecta mi disposición de pedir ayuda en el futuro y como consecuencia de esto intento pedir ayuda como mi último recurso.

Supongo que me llevará algún tiempo procesar estas críticas constructivas y espero que las críticas constructivas dejen mi mente con una idea más clara pronto. Mientras tanto, trataré de investigar y aprender sobre formas para poder manejar con éxito estos dos escenarios en el ambiente laboral. A pesar de esto, no pierdo la esperanza de que las cosas se harán poco a poco más fáciles de llevar.

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Acroyoga helped me survive my first team meeting

I don´t normally write a New Year´s resolutions list but this year I just wanted to.           

I didn´t do it to punish myself at the end of the year but rather to have this list as a reminder whenever I feel lost or demotivated. One of the things on that list was going back to practicing acroyoga. I took my first steps with this practice in the summer of 2015 in Hamburg and it was so amazing that I promised myself that whenever I found a job, I would get back.

It’s now my third week in class and I just feel that cliché and all, indeed, things happen for a reason. 

Acroyoga is a practice that combines yoga, acrobatics and therapeutic arts to give to the person that practices this discipline the opportunity to play, move and connect all at the same time.

What I didn’t expected is that Acroyoga would help me make the process of adapting to a new work environment with a remote-international team easier to adapt to. To sum it in one sentence Acroyoga is doing a mix of acrobatics and yoga practiced with strangers that in a short period of time you’ll have to trust, lose your fears and communicate with them, all at the same time.

Last week, all of these principles, helped me to successfully be part of my department’s first team meeting. During the course of three days, our team composed of colleagues from Poland, Namibia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Panama, was able to develop an strategic plan that we intend to accomplish in 2018.

These were rough days where communication, trust and getting out of our comfort zones allowed us to work together in the development of this plan. Besides being able to map out what we want to achieve in 2018, it was the perfect opportunity to get to know each other better and how we can support and rely on one another to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.

The Global Sales team, without knowing, practiced Acroyoga by listening, connecting and empowering each other to give our best by supporting and keeping one another accountable from this meeting onwards.

Everyday that goes by, despite of the overwhelming feeling that I sometimes have at work, I have came to realise that I really enjoy what I am doing and it just feels very good to be supporting my team.


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