A Year When Relationships Mattered

Relationships are the center of our existence – with nature, with our environment, with each other, and with ourselves.

Through these connections, we are ultimately looking for answers and insights in search of knowledge.

Over the last 365 days of my relationship with Neo4j, I have found, without searching, knowledge and insights into company culture, the Swedish lagom “just the right amount” ideology and practice, and lessons from my fellow Nodes. I’ve also become comfortable with the relationship I have with myself.

Before I joined, I was biased in my focus on work and didn’t prioritize work-life harmony.

The aforementioned lagom, which supports and celebrates harmony and balance, is built into Neo4j’s ethos from the top down. It’s evidenced by corporate initiatives like quarterly global wellness days and encouraging time and space for social responsibility.

Practicing the lagom has also made my relationships with family and friends more harmonious.

For context, one of Neo4j’s values that defines the company culture is “positive intent.” This is a deep and logical assumption that others are working for the collective good, although you may not agree with them or their decision. By assuming positive intent in our communications, we establish trust and it enables teams to become successful in situations that demand patience and calm and logical thinking – not emotion.

By simply seeking to understand one another first, disagreements and conflicts are minimized, office politics are deflated, and the heightened collaboration ensures we all meet our collective and individual goals.

Another relationship I established is with my fellow Nodes. Working alongside a bunch of smart people with very positive attitudes has helped tremendously in maintaining work-life harmony. They even make sure I rest when I should.

Our team in APAC has grown more than 10 times, and the marketing team has tripled in size. During the pandemic – and with the team based across the region in over 15 cities – it’s become a challenge to collaborate and bond. Time zones, different cultures, and pandemic stress can be overwhelming to everyone, particularly for a very young team.

To combat the isolation, we set up virtual lunch sessions, with a rule of no business talk during the session. This has helped us better understand one another.

Additionally, the relationship I have with myself became more real and tangible over the past year, as a big part of my life is officially recognized and given the benefit of equality.

Before coming to Neo4j, relationships were something I was aware of but didn’t focus on. By understanding connections and relations – and recognizing that the path between data points extends to human lives, as technology mimics life – one begins to have a better appreciation of relationships. Putting that into practice deepens and improves relationships, and the upward circle begins.

Nurturing relationships with our Graph Data Platform and its wider impact and implementation – versus just the technology – amplifies its value and delivers immeasurable advantages to enterprises big and small.

Relationships within the marketing team in APAC extend to other team members in other functions, then to other countries, regions, and communities outside of Neo4j. The web of relationships expands to partners, developers, governments, customers, and prospects. Everything is connected.

In total, these relationships helped make 2021 an awesome year for me – and this relationship has only just begun. We will continue our managed growth strategy in APAC in 2022 so we can focus on developing quality relationships with our team members. Hopefully the new normal will allow us to meet with one another in person, which will take these until-now virtual relations to a higher interconnected plane.

I’m looking forward to more and expecting no less.

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