Listen in as Alexandria Searles of Metanoia in Charleston, SC, discusses the impact the Chapman Foundation for Caring Communities has had on her, the organization where she serves, and the community where she lives. View on YouTube.
“Something that I realized about my organization’s work culture when I got there, is that it was significantly different from any other work culture that I’ve ever been in. It was an environment that not only focused on the community and serving in the community, but it was an environment that fostered growth and community within the staff. So the idea of working on the individual first for you to be able to serve better was absolutely new to me.” – Alexandria Searles
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Alexandria: Literally, the first day, my mind was completely turned around about what I expected from the class because I didn’t expect that. And it was absolutely, I would say, life-changing in the way that it helped me to understand myself and my relationships with other people.
Hi, my name is Alexandria Searles. I’m a graphic designer and full-time artist. I currently work with Metanoia as their graphic designer, and I’m also one of the graphic design supports for the Charleston Wine and Food Festival. I am also a full-time artist with a residency at Nexton and Brighton at Elevate.
You know, I had aha moments. I think I literally said, “Ah, oh my gosh!” Because first of all, I have ADHD, and I’ve often found it difficult to operate in school, college, and work culture situations where I’m required to sit at a desk and have to kind of fit into a box. And so when I learned the different profiles of different people and characters, and I realized which profile I was, first of all, I was like, “Who has been watching me my entire life?” Because the assessment was so, I would say, in-depth that it really captured a lot of my qualities. And looking at how those qualities impacted my work relationships, how I worked, what motivated me, how I communicate, how I communicate with others, and how others might perceive me was very eye-opening and definitely helpful in work relationships, but not only work relationships but just like my personal, interpersonal, all those kinds of relationships in my life. It made me understand that I am valued as a team member, not only at Metanoia, but in the world, and my specific character traits and talents are assets to whatever the goal is and that all people are needed to accomplish a goal. And so I think that was one thing I really took away was that there’s so much value in each individual and what they bring to the table.
And something that I realized about Metanoia’s work culture when I got there, was that it was significantly different than any other work culture that I’ve ever been in. It was an environment that not only focused on the community and serving in the community, but it was an environment that fostered growth and community within the staff and within, the people in the office, and the people working. And so the idea of working on the individual first in order for you to be able to serve better was absolutely new to me, because, oh, you care about me as an employee.
I think nonprofits should definitely invest in this course and encourage their employees to do this. If you want your employees to feel valued as an individual for their talents and whatever it is that they bring to the table, as well as giving them the tools to operate in the community and serve the community, not only that, but to see more of the human and each individual have more empathy for whoever they’re working for and practice reflective listening, which is something that I absolutely love, and that was one of my biggest takeaways, this is definitely something that you should do.