A Romanian Journal
What a fantastic opportunity! Visiting Suceava in Romania and facilitating a “Delivering Service Excellence” programme for a valued client IMS MAXIMS. It doesn’t happen often. To be given the chance to visit a far off land, to work with people of a different culture and language and to test myself in a completely different environment. I can’t wait!
By Monday 3rd June 2013, the preparation and packing is complete, the suitcase with personal belongings and professional resources passed to the carrier and a connection made with Evelyn from IMS MAXIMS. Off to Bucharest, via Amsterdam to meet with Evelyn’s colleagues, Neill and Shaun. But this well planned trip is just about to be high jacked! My suitcase does not arrive in Amsterdam. OK! Stay calm and deal with it. After reporting the loss and being reassured the suitcase would follow to Romania, we set off to Suceava.
Having arrived safely the previous evening, I meet the local team in Suceava at their office and I’m made so welcome. Although back at the office, Catherine is doing her best to locate my luggage, I need to get ready for a 12.30 pm start and time is slipping away. Stay calm and work it out! With most of the activity based learning resources lost somewhere in Europe, I need to develop a new plan. Having collated a few ideas, I think “why not engage and involve the team I will be working with?” Before I can move on this, they beat me to it! “How can we help?” Fantastic! Following a short discussion and brief, an action plan is agreed with Andreea and Marius and off we go.
At the hotel, the “Delivering Service Excellence” programme is launched. The team is understandably cautious but absolutely willing to give it a go. The Helium Stick, The Tie That Binds, FISH!, The Internal Customer and then it’s time to close and share a drink at the bar. ”How can we help?” comes at me again and Andreea makes telephone calls to help to trace my luggage.
Wednesday morning, off to the shops to buy some clothes! “How can we help?” I’m so lucky to have the company of Vasile at the shopping centre, to help with language and currency (Romanian Lei) and then it’s back to work. Egg Ships, Challenging Silo Mentalities, Probing Questions and Active Listening, Relationships of Trust and great fun too! The power and energy within the team is engaging and infectious. There is still no sign of the elusive suitcase. A delicious evening meal is enjoyed by all and a “Man v’s Food Nation” moment is hilarious, although confidentiality is a must!
Thursday, the final day and it is all about relationships, asking questions of ourselves and thinking about how to work with challenging behaviours. S.O.M ing UP and lots of Graffiti. Great craic and of great value to all! A wrap up at 12 noon and then it is back to the office. Boy, I have met some wonderfully talented, professional and generous people who are so willing to give, share and learn. An inspiration!
Off to Suceava city centre with my camera at hand to sightsee and enjoy the moment. You know, it is just like home. Lots of shops, banks and bars, all servicing peoples’ needs and aspirations. Yes, it is a world apart too, but for me we are just all the same really. Back to the office and “where have you been?” The photographs are shared and I don’t think I can have done anything more important than take time to explore a beautiful city and to taste the culture and Romanian beer! It means so much to the people I have worked with all week.
The case is found! It was located in Paris and then forwarded to Bucharest. I pick it up on the way home on Friday morning, all still intact.
And what did I learn?
- That the generosity of mind and spirit still exists
- People are still so kind, thoughtful and willing to help
- The power of the team
- ”Best laid plans” and the importance of contingencies (What if?)
- Stay calm and read and react. ”If I can do it, anyone can”
- We are so close, yet worlds apart!
- Technology is still susceptible to breaking down
- Trust in people and yourself
Thanks to all!