Friday, September 9, 2016

Embracing Accountability

So I kept getting stuck trying to open this post, I finally decided to just look up some dictionary definitions for "accountability" and see if that could inspire me. Have you read these? I encourage you to look them up.

I had to share my epiphany with someone, why not on
Seriously! They're full of words like "blame," "control," and "justify." These are scary words! As I was reading these I was no longer surprised that people tend to shy away from the concept of accountability.

So what do we do about it? I want to use this post to explore some of the ways I have been holding myself accountable this year. I want to talk about how they're helping me hit my goals and helping encourage my peers. I also want to talk about some ways other judges are doing it as well.


What is this made up word? Well, earlier this year I co-wrote a post for The Feedback Loop with Riki Hayashi. The tl;dr is that Riki and I have invested in one another to help us hit our review goals for the year. I won't go into too much detail here other than to say that it's been highly effective for me. I suggest giving it a read if you're working with judges who are working on review goals as a way to check in on each other. Think of it as your gym buddy (or I guess for Riki a running partner) except with feedback and spreadsheets!

The Goals Thread

Here's a trend that has started to pop up a lot at Mid-Atlantic SCG Tour events and I've started to see spread. Usually the week before an event someone will throw up a thread in the forums on JudgeApps talking about their goals for the weekend, and encouraging others to share theirs. At Mid-Atlantic events it's usually Jennifer Dery who gets it going. (Who also happens to be the person that keeps poking me about updating this blog.) It creates some fantatsic opportunities for mentorship on the floor. And allows for people to follow-up after the event to encourage people to hit their goals. It was especially effective at GP Indianapolis. Southeast L2 Kali Rainwater got the thread started and it saw a lot of participation. She along with another judge targeted me as a review subject which got me involved with the thread. I have since received reviews from both of those judges. The thread also helped motivate me to get my reviews from the event completed.

The Goals Board

My personal favorite of what I've seen so far this year. At SCG Tour Worcester the Goals Board was unveiled by Northeast L2 Abby Kraycar:

The Goals Thread come to life! Maybe there are some judges who aren't paying attention to the forums, maybe there are some judges that didn't get motivated by the thread. Now this gives you a very in-your-face, very interactive way to promote accountability. Check out all of this participation! Check out that goal in the top left of the board. I wonder who's handwriting that is...

Spoilers: It me.
I took her idea and I ran with it back to SCG Tour Baltimore. I made a small alteration in that I got the first two people to use it (Riki and myself) to claim our goals. This takes the accountability a step further. This lets you look at the board and know exactly who you may be able to help out there. It lets you know who you can follow up with after the event to see how they thought they did! Abby did a similar thing a little later at SCG Tour Syracuse:

Now with color coding!
I like how Abby changed it up in Syracuse. Each team on day one of the event had it's own color. Then each Classic on Sunday had it's own color. One more thing that we can try to promote accountability. This idea is also spreading, Mid-Atlantic L1 Samantha Harr saw this idea in action at SCG Baltimore and at SCG Richmond and has adapted the technology to her workplace:
Not just for judging!

As the year goes on and more events come along I'll be talking with Abby and Samantha to see what works and what doesn't work for them. I really think this is a great tool for promoting team building at events and embracing accountability. (Ohmygosh! He said the name of the episode!)

A Long Time Coming

It's been entirely too long since I've updated this blog and I'm hoping to get back into the swing of posting regularly. For awhile I was busy finishing up the L3 advancement process, which completed with my panel at GP Pittsburgh. I've worked a handful of events since and I'm just now starting to settle into my new role in the program. For the first couple of events nothing felt different. It wasn't terribly surprising, I was performing basically as an L3 and just had the number adjusted. In Indianapolis the scale of what I'm doing now really started to set in. Working with judges from outside of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast really helped me realize the differences in perception that little number could cause. I was also a Team Lead for the first time as a Level 3 at the Grand Prix, that certainly helped everything a bit more real. I'm excited for October. I'm gearing up for a very busy month with five events in five different cities. Plus a bonus event I've applied for in the first week of November.

I feel like I had better find someone to hold me accountable for a blog post somewhere in there...

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