Working in a conglomerate like GE is quite exciting, especially because I get to collaborate with great talent from around the globe. I joined GE a year ago and in what seems like a short period of time, I’ve already learned valuable lessons. Here are three:
1. Get closer to changes
The world changes fast, and so does your company. It’s like what Heidi Klum says to contesters in Project Runway, “One day you’re in, the next day you’re out.” A great way I found to avoid to be “Out” is to get myself closer to changes. No matter if these are strategy changes, market changes or organizational changes. Getting closer won’t burn your wings; instead, you’ll secure the front row seat to observe what is happening and adapt faster than others.
2. Think globally and act locally (Yes, just like what HSBC told us)
Carrying the “big global ideas” in my mind, it could be challenging when it comes down to implementation or communication with different parties of different cultural backgrounds. Here are a few tips I use to better communicate with others:
- Talk in a slower pace to express your points; when you do this, you deliver ideas with clarity, especially when English is not a native language for both parties.
- Listen carefully to what others are saying and try to figure out the meaning behind the words, considering each person’s background and experiences.
- Do research beforehand. Try to understand the country, religion, and communication style and the way they do things. Respect the culture and try to leverage the current method to implement your ideas.
3. Challenge the status quo
I was not a big fan of challenging the status quo but pushed myself to develop this skill. It is very easy to stay in your comfort zone and change nothing. However, that is definitely not how one grows and improves themselves. So I learned to look at things from different angles and always question myself when I felt too comfortable.
I was lucky to witness big changes not only in GE, but also in the Chinese economy. I was able to test my limits and to stretch myself more than before. I believe that self-improvement is a life-long assignment; it’s challenging as well as satisfying. And I look forward to continued learning.