Thursday, March 6, 2014

Welcome to Nigeria!!

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh...

I had just finished a risk assessment workshop that went on for the past 2 weeks. This is my second encounter of being in a room full of Nigerian.

The first one, was a 4 hours meeting on a particular project. Man, I am telling you, I may consider bringing in ear plugs for the next meeting.. (kidding). First and foremost, they are loud. And everybody has something to share, everybody has more than 1 opinion, and they have no qualms of speaking when somebody else is speaking. I was in the meeting, trying to grasp the knowledge, the project background etc. So I just took a back seat and listen, and then after two hours, during the break, I went up to get my phone. And somehow during the next session, I was a bit lost in the discussion, you know with the counter talking that was going on, and I resorted to....what else, my phone la.....and yes I was immersed in it until I was being told off by my senior (my bad!!)

And it doesn't end there. When we went back, he specifically asked me participate more next time..yeah right...?!! To join the talking fest...eerr...let me think about it. This is my biggest weaknesses. Back in PD I have the same issue. I would prefer to sit and listen, if I have something worth saying, then I would say it, if not then I'll just keep quiet. Sometimes when the things get heated, and I have things to say, I would approach the person offline, and say my piece. I am not the type to have it there and then where everybody else are busy talking at the same time. That is just not me. Having been told off like that pisses me off a bit. I understand that he is trying to get me involved, as I will be working a lot with this group of people later on the project. But rest assured, I don't think talking for the sake of talking will gain me some grounds with these guys.

And the second one, a workshop with a room full of the locals as well. Yes, I've guessed the session would be as chaotic as the meeting earlier, indeed it was. Clearly there was a Chairman, and even more clearly there is one participant keeps on giving opinions and feedback on almost everything. He was told off politely by the Chairman, but he keeps on doing it. I don't know whether he is plain stubborn or he just don't care to be polite. Most of the time, they would argue among themselves on senseless things and it would drag for a good 30 minutes, with no clear resolution and in the end does not benefits the workshop. My oh patience level was wearing thin.

I did loose my temper (kind of) on one of the issue brought up by another participant. The reason I was so jumpy, because it touches on a technical issue that he clearly does not have good knowledge about. (tak tau pastu pandai-pandai bagi komen..apa blood goes upstairs la....!!) I counter back the  issue, but I think I was not doing a very good job on that. I lost my calm, and to me it was unprofessional, I wish not to do it again.

My former boss, F, advised me to be like a certain leader we knew, that leader, used to work in  the middle east, and yes, the Arabics are not the easiest group to deal with either. F mentioned the quality that this leader has is humbly pushy....That is indeed a rare and exquisite quality that I have got to learn to master. And for her to be able to pull that off, I say that is great, yes, the leader is a she :)

After the 'bertikam lidah' session, I was not in a good mood, and it shows in my face...darn!! And these people still have the mood to laugh at the end of the day. Another senior advised me to take it easy. Yes, my bad, this will not be the only engagement that I will have with them. I have to take things a little bit lighter without compromising the technical input that I may have. I still have a long way to go, longer time to spend, 4 years to be exact. So better start making good relationship with these guys.

InsyaAllah, its a learning for me, how they roll here in Nigeria. Welcome to Nigeria :)

"Hanya dengan diam kita boleh...mendengar beratus kali, berfikir beribu kali, bercakap hanya sekali. Diam itu "kuasa dalam" yang terpendam!" - Ustaz Pahrol Mohd Juoi

1 comment:

  1. W'kumussalam Jeet
    Take it easy ok? I can imagine the hiruk pikuk during the meeting when each of them tak sabaq2 menunggu giliran nak bercakap. they smell (like the Banglas do?).

    Para. "And it doesnt end there ..." speaks volume of a Cancerian *wink*. IG? Baru jer redo new PW. At the moment diprebetkan, hehe.. Malulah pulak (having a blog pun malu gak, tapi....).


“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you." ~ William Arthur Ward...

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