Ahh it is good to be back in a workplace, particularly a workplace that is not terrified of me.
Yesterday, we had to create a presentation about some technicalities of our role. There were three groups of relatively shy people, all of whom had been given a huge pile of information which they do not quite understand yet because we haven’t actually done any work.
My group consisted of a very sociable female, a lazy but very intelligent dude from Ghana, a reptilian brained financial whizzkid, and me.
So, I decided, the best way of utilising the human resource was to mind map the entire course in one graphic.
“I don’t know what that means.” said the reptilian “We only have to talk about this.” he pointed at some dry technical information about software at the bottom of the page. “And not even all of it, so I don’t know what you are doing.” he shook his head.
“I did this.” The Ghanian waved a piece of paper, even more sparse than my graphic at me, showing much the same information. He is very smart, but there is such a thing as being too chill.
“What about this?” the sociable female said, bringing up several worrying factors about our imminent work, all of which connected to actual people and their lives.
So, with this I had some hilarious conversations where I had to gently tell the reptilian he was a reptile to let the humanity into the graphic, none of which made a tremendous amount of sense to either of them.
What I ended up with was a single sheet showing everything we had learned and how to actually do the job on one handy sheet. We actually got a round of applause, because I had let the rest of the people voice their concerns and talk about what interested them and made best use of it. In terms of a teamwork exercise, we smashed it.
From this I have always concluded that working in three dimensions when you are not bogged down in the flatter world of work is a good idea. You get far more of a sense of overview, of how to create a more workable picture, and it makes it far easier to actually communicate your ideas. Dialogue is less useful than letting the friction do its own work.
Today is the last day of this part of our training, and from next week we have to actually make all the systems work together. This is probably the first time I have been rather sad to finish training, since we will all be sent on to our respective shifts and will not see each other again.
I suppose I had better start wearing an actual suit.