Thursday, December 7, 2006

Here's a toast to my TMT family!

Learning & Innovation – December 7, 2006
By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

Here’s a toast to my TMT family!

There are some celebrations that we anticipate attending and there are those that we are forced by circumstances to attend.

Since I started writing for THE MANILA TIMES, I always look forward to our annual Christmas party cum Thanksgiving and the Columnists Meeting. It’s only once a year that I rub elbows with the bigwigs and wiglets of TMT and their family during the party. It is also the only time in the year that I get to talk face-to-face with my handsome editor, Arnold Tenorio, and busy-as-a-bee editor, Nini Yarte, and other colleagues in the Business Times. It is also the time of the year, that I get photographed by our chief photographer for my mug shot for this column. Except for the very first picture on my day one, I’ve never actually seen any of those photos. Nonetheless, my twice a year visit to the TMT headquarters becomes even more exciting because of this photo op.

I enjoy the games, the dancing, the raffle, the chitchats and the departmental presentations. With ease and glamour, our Lifestyle editor Tessa Mauricio is always the life of the party as the perky emcee. What is most delightful is to see the happy faces of hardworking reporters, correspondents, desk persons and support staff enjoying the once-a-year togetherness amid the how-have-you-been-lately chatters and children’s gleeful babbles.

The Columnists meeting is TMT’s way of telling us that they, indeed, value our personal opinions. Our Publisher Fred de la Rosa and President and CEO Klink Ang would take turns explaining what has become of TMT the past year and what could we hope for in the coming year. They outline the financial health of TMT and how we compare with competition. It is a very exhilarating and reassuring to know that our leaders and owners have a dream and plans for this paper and that they are seriously pursuing excellence in operations and results. They also talk about rules and regulations such as deadlines, etc. Most of all, they make us all feel significant and important to TMT.

Although, there is not much talk going around after the amicable hellos, we manage to engage in some small talks. The seasoned columnists and the sports columnists are normally the ones who engage in lively banter and exchange of information. I guess most writers would rather listen and write quietly than talk. Even my usually chatty friend Rey Elbo chooses to sit quietly in one corner. I am an avid fan of our own columnists and I look forward to celebrating with them our being “kapamilya.” When I gather enough bravado, I would really like to get all their autographs.

These are celebrations that make you look forward to more in the coming years and bond you with the company and your colleagues.

So, what makes a celebration successful?

Authors Terence E. Deal and M.K. Key write: “In an authentic celebration, people are willing to step out of their daily routine, drop their outer masks, and be fully present in the occasion being a part (we) and also being apart (me). In the experience of we is the collective of family inclusiveness, communion, belonging, connection, solidarity, a common purpose, vision, and values. We cannot be complete as individuals unless we are deeply involved in community and there can’t be a community without unique individuals. In addition to coalescing a community, celebration cultivates feelings of being valued for oneself, heightens self-esteem, and encourages freedom of genuine expression—fun, humor, and the creative aspects of life. In celebration of me joins the we.

“Notice the mirror effect of me and we, if we place one on top of the other, the letters m and w are reverse images.

“People simultaneously want both—to be apart, me, and to be a part, we, in celebration. The mirror images of me and we interplay and fuse as one inviting unself-conscious participation that eliminates fear, satisfies basic psychological needs and connects everyone in the creative flow of true community.”

Enjoy your Christmas celebrations and don’t forget the reason there is Christmas. And share those tidbits of celebrating with us through our email

(Moje consults on business excellence and talent management.)

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