We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

They can't all be Maurice Denham

A bunch of us have been sent on a "junior leadership" course as a nod to our moribund and petrified change process. Objectively it's nothing earth-shattering, in fact it's the sort of thing we were doing on a regular basis in a job I had twenty years ago, but it's a challengingly-different kettle of fish for most of the participants. Especially seeing how, as usual, none of us were prepared for the session beforehand by our line managers. A large part of this morning has involved the trainer trying to calm down fears of the unknown. I've found it a walk in the park, which is no credit to me; rather a reflection on the Library Service's lousy approach to staff training and development.

An illuminating piece of work involved our identifying character traits in ourselves and using these to settle into groups. I wasn't surprised to find myself sitting amongst reference librarians in the "Analysts" corner: a lot of the chafing between me and them is down to a conflict of similarities after all. Frog and Salome found themselves representing "Artistes" - extrovert performers who do things and think about them afterwards, if necessary. Nearly everyone else gathered in the "Sociable" corner - friendly, non-confrontational consensus-seekers. And there, sitting on her own, was Maybelle: the one and only "Driver" in the room.

"I'm Billy No-mates," she complained.

"Well," we explained, "if you will want to do things..."


Gadjo Dilo said...

I suppose doing things must be a bit infra dig in a library. (Or am I being too harsh?)

Kevin Musgrove said...

Sadly spot-on old lad.

Lavinia said...

"...extrovert performers who do things and think about them afterwards, if necessary"

I like how you've added the "...if necessary". Is that the UK way of saying, as we do in North America, "Shoot first and ask questions later".

Not that I am endorsing gunfire or weaponry, by the way.

I dislike any sort of 'team building' exercises, and categorizing people according to a single so-called trait, strikes me as non-useful and non-productive. Can one not be both analytical and sociable?

Dr Maroon said...

No,"I'm Billy No-mates" ...no, "I'm Billy No-mates" no, "I'm Billy No-mates" "I am Billy No-mates" no, "I'm Billy No-mates"...

Flay them all!

Kevin Musgrove said...

Lavinia: I'm distrustful of the labelling games. It's useful to demonstrate that different people think, act and learn in different ways, so one-size fits all doesn't work, but I think it's sensible to move on quickly from there.

"...extrovert performers who do things and think about them afterwards, if necessary" means: "Oh shit, how did that happen?" (if that doesn't provoke Frog into commenting nothing will!)

Doctor Maroon: is the calm, rational voice of science, as always. (You don't work for our personnel department do you?)