(In Busesa, the internet is too slow for lots of photos, ugh. Sorry!)
On our last day in Kaihura, Andrea conducted a group assessment at the Hope Again Medical Clinic, followed by a brunch prepared by Mama Lynda and several girls who work at Faith’s compound.
“This was my first experience doing this assessment cross-culturally,” Andrea says. “It was definitely a unique challenge. ”
The Myers Briggs assessment determines certain qualities about someone’s personality and how he or she interact others. The test is used in companies and other institutions internationally, and brings to light possible conclusions about why someone may conduct him or herself in a certain way, and provides some explanations on the reasons he or she may act towards and interact with others.
“It’s really helpful for students in terms of determining which work environment will be most successful for them," she explains.
Andrea is a career counselor at UC Davis and works with students daily on issues that arise when choosing an academic path and a career. She wanted to bring her skills, knowledge and experience from her field to help BHTTF’s staff understand more about themselves and their work and social environments.
"For people who already have jobs," she continues, "it’s also about recognizing what your individual needs are but it’s more about looking at how you work together as a team.”
Andrea addressed the medical staff with a description of the main qualities and their counterpoints: extrovert and introvert, intuitive and sensory, thinking and feeling, and judging and perceiving. She then gave some examples and distributed assessments to 45 participating staff members. After tallying the results, the group discussed what they like and dislike about having certain qualities, and what they like and dislike about others having certain qualities.
“I was happy with how it went," she says. "Everyone was having fun."
The assessment posed 72 situational questions such as: "Do you usually place yourself nearer to the side or in the center of a room full of people?”.
Another example she proposed was how visionaries are naturally intuitive people—they determine the big picture, the main goals, the next steps. Sensory people provide and the details.
“If you get your intuitive people and your sensory people to work together and compromise to meet both needs, you can be really successful," she says.
Andrea also highlights the cultural differences of the assessment: “A lot of business situations in the States are very analytical—thinking based—which is something that our society values. We also have values on people being organized and timely, which is part of the "judging" quality. But people here, with their culture, are much more spontaneous--they go with the flow. This is more connected to the "perceiving" quality.”
After the group assessment the team and the entire clinic staff got to enjoy a brunch prepared by Mama Lynda: onion, garlic and tomato egg scramble, chapatti (Ugandan flatbread), donuts, banana bread, sandwiches, coleslaw, tea and coffee. Several women approached her at the end of our last gathering to compliment her and ask for her banana bread recipe (which I tried to replicate recipe-less, but failed miserably).
"Andrea's assessment and then the group brunch," Mama Lynda says, "was a great way to wrap up an amazing experience in Kaihura."