2018 Summit Session Reviews for IDeaL

By Jamye Sagan

During the 2018 STC Summit in Orlando, FL, I attended several interesting presentations. Here are highlights from three of them.

Introvert in the Workplace

Ben Woelk (@benwoelk)

Over the past few years, Woelk has emerged as a leading authority on introverts and their leadership qualities. This presentation discussed how introverts can be influencers and leaders in the workplace. One item that resonated with me is that influence has to do with your presence and accessibility, not your job title.

Woelk also described the traits of introverted leadership, which include: placing the spotlight on the team instead of self, listening to listen and not to simply respond, and cultivating a safe space to share ideas. Most of all, the introverted leader embodies servant leadership, which is basically leading by example and working alongside your team. Overall, introverted leadership is all about harnessing your innate skills to help influence and be a role model with those with whom you interact.

Great presentation not only for us introverts, but also good for extroverts to better understand how we work.

All I Know About Collaboration I Learned from Rock and Roll

Aiessa Moyna (@aiessamoyna)

In her presentation, Moyna shared five different lessons about collaboration through the lens of various rock music groups.

Seek diverse perspectives. Using the example of how Dave Grohl has been part of Nirvana and Foo Fighters (two vastly different music groups), Moyna explains how teammates should examine issues from different points of view.

Build trust and bust barriers. Through the warning tale of Yoko Ono’s influence on the Beatles, Moyna shows how teammates should maintain focus on a common vision and not foster an “us vs. them” attitude.

Work your network. Just as Dave Grohl collaborates with artists from vastly different genres – such as pop singer Justin Timberlake, jazz musician Dave Koz, and R&B group Boyz II Men – we should reach out beyond our immediate team. Moyna emphasizes that we should stay in touch with people we’ve successfully worked with before.

Manage conflict. Conflict is inevitable; sometimes we must stop and ask ourselves these two questions: What is the issue? How can we solve the issue? Moyna uses the example of the breakup and eventual reunion of classic rock group The Eagles in explaining this lesson.

When all else fails, improvise. Moyna uses jam bands such as Phish and Grateful Dead to illustrate this lesson in flexibility and cultivating a comfortable working environment. Even though members of jam bands may play vastly different instruments, they listen to and follow one another as they perform. Jam band members also look out for one another and do not let a member fail. Most importantly, jam bands foster a comfortable environment where members can take risks and, if they fail, simply try something new.

Overall, Moyna uses great musical analogies to show how people with different skills work together.

Can You Hear Me Now? Podcasting as Teaching & Communication Tool

Jennifer Goode (@ProfGoode, www.thepodcasthost.com)

In her presentation, Goode described how podcasts can be used in education and communication

Since podcasts are serial in nature, deal with specific topics, and are accessible at any time, they make excellent tools for asynchronous learning. Podcasts also appeal to auditory learners and can help build a community via common listenership.

Goode recommended that the ideal podcast is 15-30 minutes – long enough to delve into a topic, but not so long as to lose the listener’s interest.

Not only did Goode explain why podcasts are ideal learning and communication tools, she also shared advice on recording and production equipment:

Minimum equipment needed to record a podcast include microphone, speakers, and free sound editing software such as Audacity.

Better equipment includes: more advanced sound editing software, microphone with boom arm and pop filter, noise-cancelling headphones, soundboard, and room-dampening materials.

In fact, the moment I heard about audio equipment and recording techniques, I immediately thought of our own Robert Hershenow (@rdhcomm), who has delivered several webinars and presentations on this topic.

Finally, Goode explained basic steps for planning a podcast:

  • Select a topic, audience, format, and podcast name.
  • Script an intro and conclusion, to provide a consistent framework for all podcasts. Of course, the body content will change.
  • Integrate media (e.g. music, sound effects, cover art) to enhance your podcast (but watch out for copyright issues!)
  • Publish podcast. Goode suggested publishing through website or media host, and using a directory (e.g. iTunes, Spotify, RSS) to make podcasts easier to find.

This session provided a wealth of practical information that I could incorporate into my work relatively quickly.

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