This morning my co-manager/dear husband and I attended the IC Skills Workshop for Team Managers hosted by DI Colorado. Though it was hard to crawl out of bed “early” on a Saturday morning and drive quite a ways on icy roads, we were COMPLETELY delighted with the knowledge we gained and people we met at today’s team manager training. I never doubted for a second it would be worth it, based on past Colorado DI events.
We learned what appraisers look for in ICs, experienced several types of ICs ourselves (humbling!) and got to hear the answers to lots of great questions asked by fellow team managers. This experience energized our focus on ICs and gave us solid direction on how to coach our kids in the coming months.
The only bummer was that some of the attendees repeatedly started side conversations that drowned out the important wisdom the leaders were there to share with us.
When our team arrived at our house this afternoon for our weekly meeting, we were excited to have them do one of the Instant Challenges we did this morning (where part of the team described a vacation while the others portrayed vacation photos and held their poses for at least 20 seconds)… and we were grateful for such a fresh perspective on how to coach them through the review afterward. Instead of stressing about how the team performed, we focused on what they could learn about the process of doing an IC well (remember, think like an appraiser!).
The Central Challenge-focused goal of today’s meeting was to get the team to draft their high-level description of the performance part of the challenge. We asked them to describe the “scenes” one-by-one by spending a few minutes collaborating on the performance and 20 to 30 seconds performing each scene. We have found that asking them to portray something in a short amount of time helps them to focus on the core elements of their story and avoid “unrelated creativity” that can be very distracting.
It went pretty well until about scene 4 or 5 when we realized they equated a “scene” with a camera shot! They were giving us the blow-by-blow (made up on the spot, mind you) of the details of the performance they were creating. We realized we had a problem and needed to step back and start over with a new approach.
We struggled to explain to them what “scene” is vs. a camera angle in a movie, and finally we gave up on the “structured approach” and just asked them, “How are you going to describe your entire story in the last 10 minutes of this meeting???” Surprisingly, they focused on the big picture, listened respectfully to each other, and were able to come up with a pretty succinct description of a relatively logical plot. We were amazed and delighted, and quickly wrote down everything they agreed on and posted it on the wall so they could reference it later.
In the final 10 minutes of the meeting they were able to answer the question we’d been asking for an hour – simply because we gave up and tried a new approach. The lesson learned for the day is if the first approach does not work try another and do not be afraid to admit our initial approach was not working.