At the time I am writing this, I have completed my 5th full week of interning here at beLithe and I guess I’ve learned the ropes well or at least so I think. I have now completed 9 days of the Scrum training with Chris and have facilitated activities in the last 6 days or so. Getting more involved has been, in a word, interesting. I figured now is a good time to write about what I’ve learned from taking a stab at leading some of the training.
While I have only lead the activities and not the PowerPoint sections of the training, still I think I have picked up on a few valuable things. Admittedly, I am not a yeller and honestly. I don’t have a loud voice. So I sometimes struggle to get the attention of the group once we break up into the activities. This is one thing I would desperately like to get better at. However, I have picked up on a few tricks that help make it easier, like when time is running out you give them a countdown rather than just saying “times up” or keeping the groups spaced out but not far enough that they can’t all hear you.
As much as it pains me to say that most of the time when we struggle to gain the attention of the group, it is when we do training for groups of college age students. I hate to put down my age group, but it is a common struggle. What I have noticed is that college age students also are more inquisitive and have the best questions, so it is a mixed bag.
Another thing I have noticed is during one of the activities where the self-organized teams are asked to move from station to station to answer various “myth or fact” questions. Most teams will get through the questions quickly and never need all the time that you give them. But then there is usually one group that takes almost all five minutes to answer the 10 questions. Whenever we get to the review part of the activity where we go over the answers the team that took the most time usually has the least answers wrong. I think that it benefits people to take their time ensuring that everything goes right versus trying to do your work faster and move on to more work. This is mirrored in Scrum where it is better to attempt to do less work if it means you can do it better over the course of the Sprint.
While I’m far from a professional Instructor I enjoy the process of improving and getting to learn more about instructing. One thing I have noticed from watching Chris is that every time you deliver the training is going to be different in small ways because people themselves are different every day. Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned but you must be able to adapt and keep going. It can be uncomfortable sometimes, but I know that its worth it because I learn something new each time.
Andrew Tandy is a Junior Trainer plying his wares at beLithe. Andrew will start his senior year at Wabash College this fall.
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