Ahmed Guevara Picado

Institutional Partnership Development and Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator SOS Children's Villages in Nicaragua

The equation for great results

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There are three elements I have found and experienced in this equation for great results: Trust, confidence and good relations. The presence or absence of these three elements at different stages in our lives can lead us to completely different outcomes.

Childhood – a crucial phase in life for building confidence
For instance, when we are children and are in our learning process, if we are not getting good results in a subject, parents can simply scold and reprimand us. They can question our intelligence and complain about why the results are not good enough if studying is our only duty. That reaction of course will contribute to create a negative belief in ourselves and eventually will mine our self-esteem.

On the other hand, if our parents reaction is related to take our hand and be supportive, trustful and with a clear intention of building confidence in us through caring and good relations, then the most feasible outcome will be an improvement of the grades or better results. The same power those three elements have in our biological growing process to shape our personalities, they have to shape our performance in our work life. I had the blessing of living that equation in SOS Children’s Villages.

The experience of being seen / involved
It all began when I was working as a freelance interpreter and received a call from SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua to assist them with an international visit they would be receiving. I accepted the job and spent 15 days deeply knowing the core of the organization as that process was about the implementation of the five SOS policies in the programs. During that process I felt really joyful not only because I was doing my job properly, but because the Regional Office programs team, who were leading the process, invited me to engage and participate in the analysis rounds. That allowed me to experience the first element of the equation: confidence. The fact that they took me into consideration not only to translate, but to give my opinion from my professional perspective as a sociologist, build a sense of confidence in myself that motivated me to apply for a long-term job in the organization.

Sometimes one needs another turn
About a year later the opportunity to get that job appeared, and I was hired as a community facilitator. In the two years I worked in that position I tried with all my strengths to get good results, but I was not able to achieve them, which led me to present my resignation. For me it was logical to quit as I did not want to be filling a space without positively contributing to the organisation goals, but in that moment my resignation was not accepted. Instead I got the chance to work in a different position as individual donor service assistant.

Supporting each other makes the difference
It was in that moment when I experienced the second element of the equation: the trust. Even though I did not get good results in my previous position, I was appreciated and not fired or treated as a disposal. My supervisors believed that I had much other potential that could contribute to the organization and trusted that I was able to put them into practice from a different perspective in another function. In that context I experienced trust at an even higher level when I was given the task to assume one of the biggest challenges so far: to contribute to improve the relations between a strategic partner as a promoting and supporting association (PSA) and at the same time, conclude the formulation of a project proposal/application with several months of delay within a very short time.

By the end of a month after receiving that responsibility, I experienced an amazing flow, not only because I was able to coordinate the conclusion of the project’s formulation phase that would benefit more than 200 children and their families, but because I lived the third element of the equation: the good relations. Precisely, those good relations helped us to work together from the different levels in the organization towards a common goal. In addition, the same good relations that were re-established with the PSA and allow us nowadays to have a more horizontal interaction with them, are the ones that are so important to make SOS an amazing place to work.
Summarizing, if each and every co-workers in SOS Children’s Villages trusts each other and makes an effort to build confidence and good relations in the ones around, the synergy to great results and its treasures will inherently come more sooner than later.

Ahmed Guevara

is Institutional Partnership Development and Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator SOS Children's Villages in Nicaragua.

By the dynamics of his work either as community facilitator or programme coordinator, he discovers adaptation and commitment alongside openness to novelty as quintessential treasures in his work.
The experiences of his childhood engraved in him the importance of family as stable foundation for a balanced life. Leisure for him is also a way of learning; then watching movies and thereafter analysing their diverse meanings, is in his view a school of its own. As his country, Nicaragua, is passing through a successful, yet concerning situation, he identifies signs of brighter future as the present government has been more focused on the social areas and has made substantial investments in education, which is a key factor for development.