Hello from Pune

13.08.20153 Min Read — In Travel

Hola! I’m at ThoughtWorks University in Pune, India as a trainer preparing for our graduates’ sessions beginning tomorrow. I am writing this to have an artifact to go back to and reflect on how I change over the course of training 2 batches of grads.

I learned a little bit more about myself the other day when I participated in a “team discovery” exercise with the other trainers on my team and discussed our strengths, how we thrive, how we react under pressure, and how we want to develop and putting these attributes in the context of TWU.

There was a mention of TWU being a buzz-noisy environment 99% of the time where you are constantly context switching and interacting with others.

This gave me a mini-panic attack. Additionally, my teammates and I, despite being from all over the world, somehow turned out to lean towards introverted personalities. What does this mean for all of us? How will we support each other during a highly interactive program?

One of the areas in I want to develop are public speaking with confidence because I’ve gotten feedback that I tend to take a laid back tone when I do speak in front of a group. This has been taken as not being excited, believing, or passionate in what I’m speaking about. Oops.

Another one is being an effective role model. I’ve been given so many opportunities to be where I am today. I am constantly surrounded by role models and I have the opportunity to learn and grow from them. I realize that I am in the position to pay it forward.

Emotional intelligence is something I am interested in being more intuitive about. I feel that I have a pretty good grasp over my own emotions when I am alone, but when it comes to interacting with others and delivering honest feedback that may be difficult to give, I choke. Throw in the melting pot of different cultures that is TWU and I’m realizing that I’m in for an interesting adventure.

So how do I thrive? Pairing or working in small, intimate groups. Even in social settings, I’d rather go to dinner with a group of no more than 4. I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to clarify things to my teammates when there are knowledge gaps in our understanding of a concept. This may also be detrimental to my team as well. I get so caught up in solving a problem for others that I end up spoon feeding too soon.

Under pressure, I like to think that I withhold from jumping the gun and taking action by stepping away, taking a big breath, and identifying all the building blocks that we need and blockers we need to overcome in order to succeed. I’m not afraid to take lead, but if someone else is willing to do it first, I step out of the way and let that person guide us first. Ideally, I’d rather take lead with another person (yay pairing!).

Am I really an introvert? I don’t know. Two different personality tests tell me something different:

I can feel lonely in crowds, but from experience of living in NYC, wandering London, Hong Kong, Mumbai, etc., this doesn’t bother me. I’d rather recharge “alone” in crowds rather than sit in my room. The block of time I spend in the gym is what I need to help me feel grounded. Which is why I’m primarily anti-social during that block of time.

So, how do I maximize my opportunity to be a trainer at TWU to develop in these senses? Only time will tell, excited to come back to this to see how I’ve grown and changed.

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