The Canadian Eh-xemplar Highlight – How To Be Seen

Chris Lansdell
L3 Newfoundland

Chris Lansdell
L3 Newfoundland

Welcome to the #TeamCanada Exemplar Spotlight blog! Our goals here over the course of time are simple:

  • to highlight Canadian exemplar recipients for the great work they do
  • to guide you in writing excellent nominations to ensure they get accepted
  • to encourage more Canadian judges to write Exemplar nominations
  • to extend our reach to the stars above

We can’t do all that at once (well we could, but I for one am not about to write and edit a 7500 word epic on the first post), so we’ll go bit by bit. Let’s start with some numbers. In the most recent window, Canadian judges received 120 nominations. There are 305 judges in Canada, which is a disappointingly low 39.3% recognition rate. Now as with most stats, these don’t tell the whole story; judges aren’t all exemplary every window, aren’t all active, and aren’t all seen being amazing. Even if we allow that 60% of Canadian judges were in a position to get seen being exemplary, that leaves us with a better-but-still-low recognition rate of 62.6%.

Interestingly, we only wrote 125 nominations as a region (with only 82 judges eligible to submit them). Of those, 101 were recognitions of Canadians. What does that tell us? Only 19 Canadian recognitions were received from judges outside of Canada. That tells me a three additional things:

  • We are doing a good job of recognizing awesome work we do at home;
  • We are not getting ourselves out there in the international community.
  • We’re not writing enough as a region (1.52 per L2+)

Judging outside of Canada is hard and expensive – that much is probably not going to change. So how do we make ourselves known on a world stage? How do we get our names out there as exemplary judges who just so happen to be from Canada? How do we make sure that the work we do is not ignored? Well, I went to the experts to find out. Jason Wong and Jon Goud have written a lot or exemplar nominations. Over 75 between them in fact. If anyone can give you some advice on making sure your efforts are recognised, it’s them. And because I am writing this blog post and I am a pretty prolific nominator myself (I put us well over 100 combined) and because I like words, I have my own tips to share with you.

Let’s start with Jwong:

What do you look for when writing an exemplar? Basically stuff that people do that’s not expected of them. So not just judging, or mentoring, or participating in fora, but rather stuff that’s over the top.

What are some unorthodox exemplars you have written (outside events)? I gave one to Jon [Goud] for yelling at me. And one to Bprill [Bryuan Prillaman] for pointing out challenging people online.

What can people in isolated regions do to get noticed by an L2+? I don’t want to just say “tell me” because honestly I might think the person is just boasting, but if you’re chatting with me and it comes up organically then that’s a great way.

And our illustrious RC, Jon:

What do you look for when writing an exemplar? What was the behaviour? In what way was it above and beyond what is expected for someone in that role/level? What were the radiating positive effects on either the community or you as an individual as a result of this behaviour?

What are some unorthodox exemplars you have written (outside events)? A lot of stuff coming in from the judge feedback form, and one to Jared Sylva for giving me the “stern dad” talk about an appeal I didn’t handle well that led to a player meltdown that he had to handle. Going to write one for Eric Levine for talking me down off a ledge after day 1 of my open.

What can people in isolated regions do to get noticed by an L2+? Judge feedback form. Feedback form. Feedback form. Don’t invite it *specifically* so players will write nice things about it – but rather invite feedback from players, and it increases the percentage chance that something comes up.

To add my own take to this, remember that exemplary behaviour means different things to different people. With that said, one common theme is that you won’t get recognised for doing something that is expected of your level. L1s are supposed to run in-store events and foster a welcoming community. L2s are supposed to head judge more than one PPTQ in a season. L3s are supposed to lead. What I want to see in an exemplary moment is someone who does more than one would reasonably expect of them based solely on level. Is there an L1 who is actively recruiting and mentoring new judges? An L2 who is seen a a leader in their region? Did someone make a profound personal impact on you? Perhaps they took extra time to talk through something with you, even if only tangentially related to Magic? That behaviour is probably worthy of a recognition.

I have recognised some people for some things that you might not expect. One of my personal favourites was a nomination for a Facebook post. I had asked for some ideas from social media about things at Grands Prix that annoy people, and the reply from this person was detailed and insightful.I found that worthy of a nod. I have also recognised someone for a Magic Rules blog, for helping check up on a fellow judge who was having a rough time with mental health, andfor being a consistent and valued mentor and friend. Event activities take up about half of my nominations in any given window.

To me the best way to get recognised is to make sure somebody knows what you are doing. The judge feedback form is great not only for that but for getting you feedback on your performance, something else you might be struggling to get in addition to exemplar nominations. There is also never anything wrong with just talking about what it is that you do that you wish people knew about. “Hey I am [Judge] from [City] and I do [Thing] in my community that you might try in yours because [Benefits].” There is a line between bragging and sharing, but I personally feel that it is better to stray slightly to the bragging side. If that isn’t your style, that’s OK! JudgeApps forums, Facebook groups, Discord, IRC chats, and even Slack provide channels for you to show the broader community who you are and what you do for the program.

I know for a fact that there are great judges doing great things in this region, far more than our Exemplar stats would have you believe. Let’s do our part to seek out those exemplary people and make sure they are getting recognised. My next post will talk about writing nominations, how easy it can be and how to make sure they get accepted. Thanks for stopping by, and keep being awesome!

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