Weeknotes for December 4th, 2020

Use of the royal “we.”

I use the royal “we” a lot. Not because I want to point out my importance, quite the opposite. I’ve also never taken to the idea that FabRiders is something I do on my own. I have lots of blog posts titled “What we’ve learned about…” basically to drive home the point about learning together. Significant learnings rarely happen on my own; it’s usually via some group interaction. The reflection was caused by thinking about a series of blog posts about this cohort of 360Giving’s Data Champions programme. Working with Anna Scott and Katie Rees and imagining who will read the blogs and what would they actually be interested in learning. So what are we learning as a cohort, and what are we learning as 360Giving about how grant-making institutions use data.

The Value of Boards

I’m facilitating a virtual board meeting next week and have had the pleasure of interviewing board members to learn about the value that being on a board provides. What I’ve heard is that it’s about the opportunity to apply their expertise in different ways outside of the day job. It’s also a chance to interact and learn from other board members and, of course, the organisation‘s staff. One issue for board members who have busy day jobs is that the engagement only comes at board meetings. So the challenge is how to engage them in between meetings in meaningful ways that compliment their task list and keep them up to date on the organisation’s strategy implementation.

Working with Interpreters

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve found myself training Interpreters to use the language interpretation module with Zoom. I am grateful for opportunities to collaborate and share expertise with Laurent Fernandez on this. The main limitation with interpreting in Zoom is that it forces an interpreter to only listen to ‘the floor’ and if someone starts speaking a language they do not understand, they can’t switch to listen to an understandable language interpretation. A scenario is you have an interpreter who can interpret Spanish into English and vice versa, and someone on the floor starts speaking Arabic or Chinese. The interpreter will need to listen to the English channel so they can ‘relay’ interpretation. There’s no way to do this, so many interpreters have discovered they need a second device to listen to English while using the first device as a microphone for their interpretation into Spanish.

For more tech-savvy interpreters, this isn’t a problem. However, we’ve been training interpreters accustomed to working in a physical booth and have never had to grapple with doing their work remotely via a computer, let alone a smartphone or tablet. The digital transformation has a lot of negative implications, and platforms like Interprefy are threatening to be a disruptive force to interpreters in the way that Uber has been to cab drivers.

“What brings you joy?”

A question from @fitz350 during a catchup chat. “Um… Work. All of my work” was my reply. I am feeling grateful to currently have a nice mix of quantity and quality of projects. Seriously, if I’m feeling blue in anyway, I just have to turn on the computer and look at my task list and it all goes away. Though, I’m fearful I’ve inherited my mother’s workaholic tendencies. She’s 79 and has a full-time job.

Another point of the chat was the ability to productise services as being a critical factor for successful freelancing. For me having the Virtual Session Design Lab and also The Virtual Event Design Lab clearly articulated that provide a menu of benefit that potential clients will get. Also, running these labs is a major source of joy and looking forward to opportunities in the near future to run both.

Improve your training and facilitation skills

If you’re interested, join me for a little bit of session design joy during the next Virtual Session Design Lab on December 16th & 17th.