Our office meeting room was full to the brim with eager individuals who wanted to learn something about how to speak powerfully to influence people at the very first talk program of Brown Bag Session. The day coincided with the birthday of the greatest enigma mankind has ever known, Nelson Mandela. Mandela, for me and for most of the world, is a source of great inspiration and admiration.
Let me talk about the first session in detail.
I circulated emails and reminders to each and every one of us in the company requesting them to attend the talk. Ours is a software company specializing in transaction banking and unfortunately I am not an engineer or a developer. Neither am I a business graduate. I am a Sociology major.
During the initial two months of joining F1Soft International, a feeling of being out of place crept inside me because neither IT nor banking was my cup of tea. Feelings of boredom, frustration and alienation gradually took over me in these two months so much so that I started dreading going to work. Seriously. The very thought of sitting in front of the computer or idling at my desk with nobody to talk to made me literally paranoid.
It was then that I felt there was a grave need for us to come together every once in a while and engage in co-creating behavior. What I felt was that we do not have human connection at the company. Everybody was working, yes, but then we worked as though we were mere machines toiling from early in the morning till late in the evening (sorry if I may sound rude to some).
There is this rule known as Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, which says 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes. In other words, no matter how much we work, only 20% of our effort is going to bring about 80% better results.
Having worked in the company for the last 5 months now, I felt a communication and networking gap among people in our company. Just as they say “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy,” we were literally turning dull.
This is how Brown Bag session came into existence. But I’m not the only one who had this idea. I expressed my desire to have informal interaction sessions in the company to two of my colleagues who fortunately had thought of having similar programs at work.
So we kicked off our first session on 18 July 2014. Yours truly conducted the session and talked about the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) section of the human brain which helps us make important decisions in life and differentiate right from wrong. The talk revolved around fear and how it blocks our PFC when we try to address a mass of people or attend a job interview as an interviewee.
Well, to my utter happiness, the program received rave reviews and great comments from the participants. The program did help me boost my self-confidence. More than that, it worked as an ice-breaker and participants got an opportunity to get to know each other. (Remind you we have more than 100 employees).
I look forward to having similar sessions in the days to come so as to enhance a co-creating environment and symbiosis throughout the company. I’m sure my colleagues, friends and bosses will help me achieve that.