Communication? What communication?

Oh, did I forget to tell you about this? Communication doesn’t count anymore. No more communication.

Jokes apart, Communication is going away as an L3 Quality. Why is that?

The reason is twofold:

  • No L3 candidate has ever been found deficient in communication. Going through the process is already proof enough that you’re able to communicate efficiently about complex ideas. So removing the Quality has no consequence whatsoever on the testing part.
  • All aspects of Communication we care about are covered by the other Qualities:
    • Ability to get people to follow you is covered by Leadership, Presence and Charisma.
    • Ability to give rulings clearly is covered partly by Teamwork, Diplomacy and Maturity (the Diplomacy part) and partly by Penalty and Policy Philosophy (you can more easily explain what you understand well)
    • Ability to give feedback in an effective and non-confrontational way is covered by Development of Other Judges.
    • Ability to defuse tense situations is covered by Stress and Conflict Management.

The rest of the process stays exactly the same.

Joint Recommendations

With Communication going away, recommendations still require 7 Qualities – out of 9 this time. So, you’re saying, this will make my recommendations harder to get? In some cases yes, but I’d like to tell you about joint recommendations. This is something that has alway been possible but underutilized and unfortunately not advertised.

A recommendation has to be submitted by an L3, but nothing says they need to have first-hand account of everything in it. Submitting a recommendation is stating “I believe this judge can be L3 and here’s why.” So the L3 is vouching for you, but they can use indirect evidence for their claims. Say you’re done a great investigation at an event where you usual mentor wasn’t present, but where another L3 observed you. Your mentor has only 6 Qualities to talk about, and the other L3 less. They can team up and write a joint recommendation which will reach the magic number 7. It will still count as just one, but that’s better than not receiving a recommendation just because of unfortunate circumstances.

This is something to think about in these times of judging a lot of GPs and not seeing many other judges in-between. Next time you ask an L3 for a recommendation and they say they don’t have enough, ask them how many Qualities they can write about. If they’re close to 7, you just need to find an L3 who can complete that to 7. Don’t forget you still need two recommendations to have a complete checklist, proving that you can have long-standing judging relationships with multiple leaders of the program.

Testing Online

We’ve successfully conducted a panel via Google Hangouts earlier this year. This was a good solution for a candidate who lives in a remote area and couldn’t make it to a GP allowing a panel (not every GP can support one!) in a reasonable timeframe. This possibility is offered on a case-by-case basis, as it requires:

  • Taking the written test which can’t be remote. An L3 is sufficient to proctor the L3 written exam.
  • Assurance that we won’t need to test skills that are best tested in-person.

In any case ask me it this is something that might interest you.

Team Leading

Successfully leading a team at a GP is an important item of the L3 checklist. As leading teams will be the bulk of your activity on GPs after you become L3, preparing according for this is quite important. This document describes the expectations in that role and explains the criteria used to determine success. It’s already been in use for a while, given directly to the L2s about to team lead; but I feel it’s a useful document to make widely accessible as internalizing the skills required for that role may require more than a week or two. Remember that this determines success for the checklist item only and that expectations go up for L3s – and in fact leading a team on day 1 is significantly more stressful and challenging than on day 2 when only a fraction of the players are left. For this reason, even if you already have the TL check, I encourage you to request another shot at the position if possible – more experience is always beneficial.

Thanks for reading,