We Are Our Own Work
Malii Brown is an Intercultural Trainer & Consultant who has built her career over the last ten years connecting and engaging people across cultures.
Something I said caught her attention before it caught mine. One week ago today, I was on an informational interview by phone with the head researcher of a Washington, D.C.-based, international, non-governmental organization that is in consultative status with the United Nations. My interviewee opened the conversation with one question: “Tell me, what are you working on?”
“Myself!,” was my immediate response.
...Any technical-based or other professional development is a solitary effort to refine ourselves as the most high-powered tools we operate in the workplace.
I hadn’t meant to be especially witty or profound when responding. It was my authentic answer in that moment to a common question. I am a professional continually growing and grooming myself to be prepared for the opportunities I earn. If you and I are making an effort to do our jobs better, we have another thing in common: We are making an effort to be better. When we endeavor to improve our work performance, aren’t we simply improvingourselves? Informational interviews, networking, mentorship, research, goal setting, feedback and any technical-based or other professional development are a solitary effort to refine ourselves as the most high-powered tools we operate in the workplace.
Supporting people as they make practice from principles is one of the key roles in my own work. My intent in inviting the conversation I reference above was to learn how my interviewee’s organization practically applies the faith-based principles that guide them. In the professional environments I encounter as a Consultant, organizational values, vision, mission and ethics represent principles for action—or inaction—that colleagues locally or globally don’t necessarily share or similarly interpret. Identifying that difference, understanding it and managing it toward increased professional connection and engagement between people is what I do well, and the process through which I guide clients.
Embody the principle. To whatever extent we consider ourselves an individual player or a part of a collective whole, something internal shifts and we "become" so that the work process external from us may evolve. When we get better at doing something, it’s because we get better at being someone.
What are you working on?
people. place. purpose.