Early this week on returning home late from a Training program, I met a couple, Priya & Subu in the foyer of my apartment. As the lift arrived at the ground floor, I picked up both my training bags and stood aside, waiting for the couple to walk into the lift. Interestingly enough, the lady walked in and the man waited and ushered me to go into the lift. Hmmm, I thought.
Within the split second a thought flashed into, me…. There is something different about these people… what is it I need to find out……. The Man followed me into the lift and the doors closed.
The lady asked me which floor I would like to go?
I replied, “7 please”.
She pressed my floor number, followed by their floor number, which ended up being 8.
Curiosity built within me. I must know what is the difference in this couple?
So I politely asked looking at both of them, “are you new here?”
The lady responded “No”, and immediately proceeds to say we own the apartment on the 8th floor and have been living in China for the last five years.
Aha, that explains the difference exposure, different lifestyle & interacting with different culture. I asked “how come China?”
The lady answered, “my husband is working in China”. Wow I said that must be fascinating. My immediate question Where in China? To which the man responded Shanghai, and I am a senior manager with a manufacturing plant……
I said, “I was in China in the 90’s and did do business in South China and Shanghai. There was an immediate click, I could see their body language, and expression and mannerism light up. By this time, the lift had arrived on my floor. They both stepped aside to make way for me to get out of the lift, with my large training bags. No sooner was I out of the lift, I saw the lady and the man come out and we continued our conversation in the foyer of the 7th.
The lady shared many experiences of CHANGE that had transformed them as a couple since their move to China. I shall release those experiences in later segments. For now, I just wanted to address change that had transformed this lady from being a shy, quiet, “homemaker” (a term I am still to come to grips with) to this confident effervesce lady.
I asked her what triggered that change. Her response… exposure and the need to do it, as there is no one else to day it, there you are on your own. So whether you are frightened or not you have to do certain things. I thought Wow. What learning’s from this encounter? When one has the back to the wall, one will have to confront, move forward, as there is no place else to go but forward…
Hmmm if only some of us caught this click of experience from the lady. The man then added, we knew where we were, whilst we were working here in India, well cocooned in our comfort zone. I would get up at six; get ready to go to work. Priya, would prepare the breakfast and lunch for me. I leave home at 7am and repeat this melodrama over and over again. In China, I also get up at 6am, Priya also prepares my breakfast and lunch, but it’s different…
What’s the difference? I ask and he responds being outside our comfort zone, taking calculated risks. Again I thought Wow. Subu made it a point to reiterate, David it is not that one has to go abroad but just the fact we made the decision to Change… If I look at the growth that has transformed Priya into being the person she is today, she would have had to live 10 life’s in India to do so, and with me I would have had to live 100 life’s… What an interesting perspective. By this time Priya, commented to her husband, I think, David needs to go, as he has had long day training. Look at our clock and it was 45 mins talk in the foyer of the 7th floor.
Powerful learning’s from the short encounter…Moments to reflect and ponder…
- Being Sensitize to verbal & nonverbal cues to build on rapport
- Asking the right type of questions to enhance communication
- Decision Making based on facts
- Understanding of one’s true potential and drawing that power from within each of us
- Understanding cultural differences and adapting to it.
- Unlearning old die hard habits and relearning new productive habits
- And the list can keep going on & on….