Ephemerality is on my mind. With the turning of the leaves, I, too, am embarking on a new chapter—but not before finishing writing this one.
My time as Floricane’s intern is rapidly drawing to a close—much to my dismay—since it means I am leaving the people I’ve come to call my friends, this vibrant city, and of course the terrific atmosphere of my professional home. These past seven weeks have been filled with tremendous learning and lots of hard work, and I’d like to share that with you, in the form of the oft-disputed “listicle,” as suggested by John.
Top Ten Things I Learned Working at Floricane (in no particular order)
Or, My Little Nuggets of Wisdom I Picked Up Along the Way
1. Insights is a really big deal around here! What color are you? How do you fit in with your team dynamic? “Oh Theran, you’re such a blue!” We as a team really did live up to our colors, I think, and it was exciting to learn why.
2. On that note, I had to keep reminding myself to not pigeonhole myself or others into their Insights color descriptions, since humans are so much more than a singular color energy, or a four-letter combination, as in the Myers-Briggs test.
3. A lot of client work requires the simple act of listening. Before that, it means asking the right questions. How applicable this is to our own daily relationships and interactions!
4. Subsequently, most everything that a group wants or needs, is already there within the individual members. While sitting in on and observing client meetings, I noticed that John’s or Theran’s facilitation entailed eliciting solutions that may have been lying dormant or unnoticed in the corners of the clients’ own minds. Even reframing the problem and angling it differently could help to think about it in a better, more innovative way. Obviously, it’s not that simple (at all, sometimes!), but perspective matters.
5. Floricane’s music tastes vary widely, and fluctuate wildly. One day it may be Julie’s indie-alternative mix, another—some of John’s punk anthems, or even Lesley and Sam’s favorites from twenty years ago. Musical education: augmented.
6. Printers are evil and temperamental. I know they’re not sentient creatures, but after hours upon hours of troubleshooting, reading forums, restarting, asking Sam for help, and general despair, no dice. Mind you, this is after the first few weeks of working flawlessly. I’m on to you, printer elves.
7. Workshops, like the Summer of Self Discovery Mindfulness series or the $10 Toolkits, are a phenomenal way to bring disparate members of the larger community together and make them a cohesive family, if only for an hour or two. While the presented topic is beneficial and stimulates neural activity, we can often learn just as much from each other’s thoughts and experiences in the space enabled by the workshop facilitators.
8. There’s always money in the banana stand. Wait no, I meant candy in the candy drawer. Yup, chocolate is indisputably the best pick-me-up.
9. Literature on leadership and organizational change is really interesting, for lack of a better word! While I’ve yet to delve into scientific or empirical articles, some other favorites include The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Ben Zander, and Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute. While this material helps to clarify my personal career goals, these books are applicable to anyone in any field!
10. If you’ve ever met John, you’d be inclined to say he’s vibrant, expressive, engaging, and gregarious. Imagine my shock when he revealed that he used to be, and still is, a huge introvert. Whaaat?! Lessons to learn here: when given a task that forces you outside—opposite—your comfort zone, view it as a challenge and dive in with fervor. Fake it till you make it. Change is possible, oftentimes leading to wonderful results.
Well, it’s been one hell of a ride: fulfilling, magical, life-altering, truly. As I always say, peace out, Girl Scout; see you later, alligator; and in a while, crocodile. Richmond, I’ll be back for you!