4 Key Lessons for Teams on Experiencing Culture

Beauty Jamaica

We all dream of it. We all save for it. We all think it will never happen and then it finally does. We get to take that dream vacation we have always wanted with time away to relax and enjoy the sun and surroundings.

For our 15th anniversary my husband and I went to Jamaica and wow what an experience! The food was amazing, the people were spectacular and the scenery was out of this world. But one thing you don’t expect or think about is the impact experiencing their culture will have on you.  Of course we have heard others say get out there and explore the world and enjoy the culture but until it happens, you don’t really get it.

What experiencing Jamaica has taught me and how it might help with your teams or ones you are a part of.  

1.Team work is so much more when a team is few and the outcome is much.

In other words when you work in an environment where your job might be to entertain, cook and put on a show you really learn to lean on others for help and appreciate every single persons talents and skills.

Lesson 1: Be willing to explore and experience other people’s responsibilities to better understand and appreciate them.

2. Corporate forced culture cannot substitute genuine team kindness and caring.

In other words when your team genuinely cares for their guests and each other as if they were a friend or family member the experience is much more exceptional.

Lesson 2: Get to know people and share kindness.

3. Hustle as Jon Acuff says is a very important piece of your Career Savings Account™.

In other words when you live in a country where there is no option other than to work, you do whatever is necessary to make money even if it means standing in a narrow road with cars and bikes flying by while selling bracelets.

Lesson 3: Work as if there was no other option than to give it all you had because not giving it all you had would result in not having what you need to survive.

4. Leadership can show up in many forms.

In other words leadership is in everyone. It is in the guy passing by with towels offering to help you out with something that is not his responsibility. It is the front desk lady who listens to you ramble on when things didn’t go as planned for your “special” anniversary day. It is the entertainment guy who knows you and your spouse’s name and takes times to laugh and listen with you both.

Lesson 4: Always remember there is a leader in everyone; you just have to look for it and encourage it when it shows up.  

Yes I am sure all these wonderful people who made our experience exceptional while at the resort have had a ton of training and have awesome managers and hopefully are paid well, but the difference was, you could feel their love for their co-workers and for their jobs.

Maybe it is because where they live good paying jobs are much harder to come by. Maybe it is because they were raised in a different culture. Maybe it is because they are left with no other choice.

But none of that matters; all that we know is we came back feeling very appreciative of the kindness that was expressed to us. Now I know we all can’t just jump on a plane and go to Jamaica, believe I would if I could, but we can take time to genuinely get to know others, help others and put passion into our jobs every single day.

When is the last time you felt connected to your team so much that you would do anything for them? When is the last time you helped someone out above and beyond what was expected of you? When was the last time you listened to others and got to know them?

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