Next week, I’ll be celebrating my two year anniversary at Communispace. As a kid, my dad always encouraged my siblings and me to take a minute to reflect on what we’ve learned. A creature of habit, I’ve been doing just that this past week and thought I’d share with you some of the things I’ve learned working at Communispace:
Be bold – During my two years here I’ve seen Ben Zander, Maestro of the Boston Philharmonic, speak twice. One of the points he drives home is to take risks and be bold—you might not always succeed but at least you’ve entered the realm of possibility and tried something that you might not have otherwise. Shortly after Maestro Zander’s visit, Diane left a company-wide voicemail (she didn’t sing though) encouraging us to find ways in our weekly/daily work to be bold. Rather than saying “I can’t do that…,” I find myself saying “Why not, let’s try it!” and it’s refreshing.
Be Honest/Transparent – When you’re trying something new and you’re not sure what the outcome will be—be honest. It’s okay if you’re discovering new territory, but part of being bold, is boldly telling the truth. If your bold idea doesn’t work out—learn from it. It’s much easier to learn from your mistakes when you’re honest upfront.
Ask questions and actively listen to the answers – To some, my nickname is “Questions.” I have a habit of asking a lot of questions (good thing I’m a market researcher, right?!) but it’s not a bad thing. By asking questions, you never know what you might learn or alternatively you might discover assumptions that you didn’t even know you were making. Just as important as asking questions is taking the time to stop and really think about the answers. Active listening feels like a lost art form like making mix tapes or pogo-stick races, but really that’s the most important part. You can ask questions until you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t stop and listen—how will you learn anything?
Enthusiasm is contagious – I work with some of the most enthusiastic people and their passion is contagious. Communispacers are passionate about insights, consumers, our client’s businesses, research and laughter. That last one is an important one—at Communispace we laugh A LOT and it is part of what makes working here enjoyable. But on a more serious note, I truly believe that the enthusiasm we all bring to the table is what drives our personal and collective success.
I’ve learned a lot in my two years at Communispace, but most importantly I’ve learned the importance of community. Not only do I work in a great community but I also get to facilitate some truly terrific ones as well. And that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned during my two years—a strong community requires all of the above: bold new ideas, honesty with those in the community, actively listening to questions/differing viewpoints and contagious enthusiasm to grow and thrive. These past two years have certainly been an adventure and I can’t wait to see what the future holds…