Christina Tran learned a lot about effective communication in an unexpected place – working as a barista. One Saturday morning, with a line of more than 30 customers snaking out the door, she discovered that the coffee shop was entirely out of milk. Recognizing that most people are particular about how their coffee is prepared, she faced a choice: sell each customer on embracing one of the available options, or lose their business to a competitor.
“I decided to focus people’s attention on a sense of possibility – the health benefits of soy milk, the foaminess of almond milk, or simply the rewards of change, because a willingness to change often revolves around a single point of awareness,” Christina said. “In the end, not a single customer left.”
Christina, who joined the ROI Communication Team in 2019, attributes her success as a communicator to a developed sense of awareness, her capacity to engage through listening, and a deep empathy for others – skills she honed by working with diverse and sometimes conflicted teams, as well as her training in mediation and conflict resolution.
“In mediation we talk about the different ways to bridge cultural gaps, observing people’s tone and rate of speech, and becoming more aware of subconscious bias, including our own,” she said. “As a consultant, I try to be a neutral and objective third party, helping people find a solution that works for them.”
Christina earned a BA in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach. She also earned a certificate in mediation and conflict resolution, and worked as a peer communication coach at the university’s Hauth Center for Communication, where she managed design work and the center’s social media accounts.
When she’s not supporting ROI clients, Christina enjoys camping, playing the ukulele, landscape photography, reading in coffee shops, painting, and yoga. She lives in San Jose.