Getting in Sync

This is the third post in my series reflecting on ONS. For more posts in this series, check the series frontpage: InterVarsity's Orientation for New Staff.

I've learned something recently about Latino leadership.

Latino teams function best when everyone is in sync.

On my LaFe teams, we'll spend a good portion of our meetings catching up, listening to each other, just spending time together.

From the outside, this may look inefficient, like wasted time. But once we're all in sync, we work phenomenally well together.

Why is this? (and what does it have to do with ONS)

Latino culture is a highly communal culture. We pick up on what other people are feeling and thinking. We listen. We share. And that's the environment where we're most comfortable: where everyone speaks their mind and everyone listens.

But creating this environment requires a lot of trust. To enable honest sharing, it's very important for Latinos to have confidence that, if they share, they will be heard and will be shown respect.

Building trust takes time. By listening to what's going on in your life, I communicate that you can trust me to listen when our conversation shifts to work and you're sharing your mind.

The process of syncing up provides the foundation for great teamwork.

That's why we had such a long Small Group time at ONS last night. There are 8 of us in our Small Group and 5 of us have some sort of Latino ethnic background. We're going to cover a lot of ground during our 10 days together. We need to be in sync.

Have you ever experienced a long syncing up process on a team? How did it feel? Do you think it helped or hurt your team dynamic?

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