PROBLEMSOLVING Taking a creative approach to situations, looking beyond the most obvious or commonly used solutions
Student story: The average event in Collis requires at least one thing new, something we haven’t done before. This can range from an intercom set up to a new type of stage to a new location. For instance, the fashion n show in the café over the weekend was a completely new set-up; a stage in the café with a sound system and catwalk? We knew what they wanted and had to find a solution that would accommodate their needs in a creative and new way.
PLANNING AND ORGANIZING Developing plans to break large projects into manageable pieces, using forward thinking to anticipate problems
Student story: Every shift we begin by deciding what should be done first. Some jobs take two people, some jobs work better when done by only one person. Usually, the first thing we do is discuss the order in which we should tackle each task. By planning ahead, we can ensure that two of us are working together on the more labor- intensive projects and that no one is doing nothing while waiting for another job to be finished.
DELEGATING Leading a group to accomplish a goal, determining how best to use human resources, preparing a group for new leadership
Student story: The Tech hierarchy goes from Tim to the Head Tech to the other techs to training techs. Usually, Tim gives us instructions and its up to us to decide how exactly to get it done. By delegating jobs, the Head Tech can usually reserve the more technical projects for himself, such as setting up a complicated audio system or training a new tech.
DECISION MAKING Considering data and options to move a group toward its goals, recognizing the continuum of failure and success, recalibrating goals accordingly
Student story: Often we encounter situations with organizers who haven’t thought things through or performers that aren’t prepared to perform on given stages. Just last night, we made a decision to change the stage plot for the Wale/Blue Scholars show when it became apparent the DJ tables would be disturbed too much by movement on stage. Furthermore, we eliminated the catwalk, deciding to reduce the possibility for feedback. They were decisions made on the fly that greatly improved the overall show.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT To understand and apply fiduciary responsibility, work with budgets, basic accounting procedures, appropriate care of physical and virtual resources
Student story: As Techs, we are responsible for managing the storage of equipment, ensuring that it is well taken care of and accessible, but for the most part we do not deal with budgets or basic accounting procedures beyond ensuring we receive our paychecks and blitzing in our hours.
COMMUNICATION Public speaking, persuasive writing, respecting others’ voices in a group situation, modeling controversy with civility
Student story: Often opinions differ about how to complete a shift. Organizers want things they didn’t request, or things that we can’t offer, techs need to leave early or show up late or don’t know how to do something; communication becomes a big part of the job. Last term a medical school student organized an event that involved very specific decorating touches. We politely informed her of what would be possible for us to do, what her other options were, and then listened to her responses and worked together for a solution. It was great example of a cooperative solution to an issue that arose while working in Collis.
DEVELOPING CONNECTIONS Becoming part of a web of people to find solutions, creating a network of allies beyond one’s own milieu
Student story: Often, Techs must cooperate with managers to get a show done. From having them help fold up staging or turning off lights to having them monitor a group after the techs leave, the two groups must work well together to get a job done. With the Chinese New Year celebration earlier this term, a manager helped me set up chairs, and afterwards I showed him how to run the lights so that he could take care of their needs after I left. It was a great way to use all of the resources available in Collis together.
CULTURAL COMPETENCY Having a knowledge of self and others, and a confidence in working with a diverse group of people
Student story: The range of activities that occur in Common Ground is rather expansive. From the Chinese New Year festivities to Black History Month speakers to International Student Dinners to Native American discussion panels, any one shift might involve working with any number of diverse students and community members. Being able to approach each situation with sensitivity and genuine interest is a key component to making an event go well, and one of the most useful skills for being a tech.
ACCOUNTABILITY Taking responsibility for the actions of a group or oneself, working proactively to uphold community standards
Student story: Many times this term I have accidentally left doors open or forgotten to return the keys. This results in a potentially dangerous situation where things could get stolen or people annoyed. As a tech, its important to accept responsibility for things like this to ensure that no one else is hassled, and to ensure that you yourself might learn to stop making those mistakes.
TIME MANAGEMENT Utilizing self-selected tools and strategies to prepare for and meet deadlines, identifying priorities and managing competing commitments, finding a healthy and sustainable work-life balance
Student story: The Saturday and Sunday shifts are particularly damning to my schedule. Saturdays, being the only day of the week this term I could find free time to relax, and Sundays, being the days for homework, are both very important days. It became a huge deal to make sure none of us had to stay later or work extra after these shifts. To ensure this wasn’t necessary, we would work hard to finish on time and try to foresee problems that might arise in the future, so that we wouldn’t be required to come in again to fix them.
FLEXIBILITY Expanding one’s own or a group’s view of possible solutions, responding proactively when new situations are presented
Student story: Every shift is different, every organizer wants something new or catered to their needs. Last week, with the Dance for a Dream event in Common Ground, the organizers wanted to hang pictures from the ceiling beams and set up a stage on the west side of Common Ground. Neither of these are traditionally done, but we were able to change the set-up to accommodate their needs. Ultimately, the show was a success.