During my time at Truth Initiative, I have noticed the unique and genuine relationships among various leaders within the organization and their followers. For approximately the past 12 weeks, the company has been “teleworking” (working remotely). While this has definitely presented some obstacles for the organization, this transition, with respect to work itself, appears to have occurred fairly seamlessly. Within the department in which I’m interning, my supervisor normally teleworks out of California, while the office is located in Washington D.C. As such, the team routinely uses Slack, a chat interface with calling capabilities, as well as Zoom. However, during the two all-staff meetings I have attended, as well as through companywide emails, it is extremely evident that many employees misses daily interactions with his or her co-workers in the office space. In response to these sentiments, the HR department plans many virtual events to keep the office connected. Most recently, the organization had a Zoom call in which individuals could share stories about summer memories. Some stories were humorous, while others were sentimental. While individuals shared their stories, many people cheered them on in the Zoom chat box. This event really demonstrated the tight-knit, genuine relationships among coworkers, both leaders and followers, at Truth Initiative. Specifically, I noticed that the company’s CEO tuned in and offered each participant words of encouragement both during and after their story. In this moment, I realized that while individuals may be at different “levels” within the organization, they are able to come together as one, with utmost respect for one another.
Additionally, I noticed the sincere relationship between leaders and followers during a study (one of the organization’s current research studies) team meeting I attended this past week. From the outside, I firmly believe that no one would have been able to identify which individual in that meeting held the highest title. I say this not to suggest that the meeting was disorganized, but rather to highlight the respect given to all employees. Even as an intern, I felt as though my words were heard and valued. While one individual is the grant-recipient of the research funding, the group respectfully exchanged ideas and opinions about the project. It was evident that the other team members were always mindful of the fact that it was the senior lead’s project. Overall, during these past three weeks at Truth Initiative, I have observed the respectful and sincere relationship between leaders and followers.