Exemplar Wave 5 Highlights – Teamwork and Diplomacy

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our series of highlighted exemplar recognitions. See our introduction post for all the details, or view all the posts in this series. This article was written by Area Rep Megan Linscott.

Judging isn’t always a one person job. Often as not, we work together in teams. Even when we head judge events by ourselves, it’s still important to be able to work closely with TOs and be diplomatic with players. The following recognitions highlight how far a good attitude and a little tact can go for an event.

Ellen you came across the country to work GP Vancouver which is admirable as an L1 but that isn’t what makes you exemplary. Starting with a prep shift on Thursday and throughout the three days of the event itself I both experienced and heard great things. You always had a smile on your face, you were eager to help in whatever way was needed, and you seemed to be able to see the end goal without being guided. The last piece is what is inspiring as you are a new Judge with limited experience at large scale events. You had fun yet were professional and mature throughout. It was great to have you in Vancouver and you certainly made a good impression on many people.

Rick’s nomination of Ellen highlights two important aspects of her ability to work with a team: her attitude and work ethic. An ability and willingness to do whatever the event needs is hugely valuable. To be able to do it and keep smiling is exemplary.

At Grand Prix Toronto you were able to amusingly explain how I could do my job better while also perfectly reminding me of the priorities that needed to be addressed. Your presence ensured that an otherwise hectic ODE environment ran more smoothly than anyone could have expected given the circumstances.

Supporting other judges in their leadership role without taking over is a difficult line to walk, but Shawn does it well. Additionally, being diplomatic enough to ensure that constructive criticism is not only heard, but immediately appreciated is a rare gift.

On the IRC #mtgjudge channel, you noted me being curt with people and PMed me to let me know how it came across, especially in text conversation. This type of micro-feedback to be pretty underrated. I reacted defensively at first, but you kept chatting with me until I could see your position. Honestly, this was the type of conversation that I expect from a friend, someone who knows that they can talk directly to me about how I’m acting. It impressed me to get that type of PM from someone who had been a stranger to me until then, especially since my identity isn’t a secret on IRC and people are afraid to interact with higher level judges in that way. Feedback comes in all forms, and I consider the circumstances under which you delivered this one to be noteworthy.

It’s often said within the judge program that feedback is a gift. Sadly, it’s often true that the more you progress, the less people feel you need it. That didn’t stop Ellen when she had something to contribute. Not only was she willing to approach Riki with an area of improvement, she also had the tact to be sure that that feedback was heard.

Jeff, your energy at SCG Regionals was infectious. You jumped at every task with a smile and hustle, and your demeanor was nothing short of infectious. You made everyone’s job easier, mine included, and thanks to your energy, a 10-round event seemed like a walk in the park. Thank you for your outstanding work and presence.

As mentioned, a good attitude does amazing things for an event. Elliot uses the perfect word in Jeffrey’s first exemplar recognition: infectious. One person’s attitude can make or break the day of those around them. Balancing working hard and having fun doing it can be tough, but smiling is contagious.

Ilan, we spoke about your great work after Day 2 at GP Paris but I feel it is worth a more official note. Your work at the main stage was excellent. You directed us calmly and efficiently, making sure to control the flow of judges who were delivering result slips and keeping us all going in the right direction.

Additionally, you spotted a judge who was about to burn out and managed to call their Team Lead’s attention to it, amidst a chaotic end of round.

From a leadership perspective, teamwork means delegating effectively and taking care of your team. End of round is an important and chaotic time in a tournament and being decisive and efficient is what gets the next round up. It’s a daunting task in and of itself as judges fly by, but being able to pick someone out of that chaos to make sure they get the help they need is going above and beyond.

Working together and supporting each other makes us effective but it’s also a huge part of the appeal of the judge program for a lot of people. These recognitions are only some of those representing the teamwork and diplomacy displayed by North East judges. With that in mind, it’s no surprise how often people refer to the judge program as their “judge family.”

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