Self-Reviews: Asking the Right Questions

Want to submit a self-review, but struggling to write it?

Today, guest writers George Gavrilita and Aruna Prem Bianzino propose a method to help you get started or get unstuck.

George Gavrilita

George Gavrilita

Aruna Prem Bianzino

Aruna Prem Bianzino

A Self-Review for your L3 Checklist should analyse yourself through the lens of the nine L3 Qualities. The articles describing them are great, but going from them to a Self-Review may be as hard as climbing a mountain. At the same time, we are also evaluating ourselves: not the easiest of tasks. Luckily, we can make it easier, by using a structured methodology that has also benefits even outside the L3 Process. The methodology we describe is ideal for the so-called “Initial Self-Review”. With this solid base, writing the “Checklist Self-Review”, or any other type, within and outside the Judge Program, shouldn’t be that hard.

The Methodology

The big change with a Self-Review is that you are the subject of it. The required introspection makes it harder to write than a normal Review, but the good side is that you are judging with yourself 24/7: you can always find plenty of examples, or even plan an activity for you to test some specific qualities you do not have evidence for.

Based on this, we started from the description of the qualities, broke them down in sentences, and reformulated each sentence as a question. For example, from the definition of Development of Other Judges:

“Level 3 Judges improve the judging communities in their local regions through active recruitment, training, mentoring, and reviewing of other judges. […]”

This becomes:

“Do you improve the judge community in your local region through active recruitment, training, mentoring, and reviewing of other judges?”

It’s a small change, but we believe looking at things in small chunks makes it much easier to understand if we are good or deficient in the different skills. It’s like a cooking recipe: nobody attempts to bake a cake by preparing the dough, cutting the apples, and pouring the milk all the the same time. Focus on one part of each L3 Definition at a time, and start your answer with “I”. The answer to the above question can be:

I recently recruited a competitive player that was interested in judging. We meet up every week and discuss the rulings he received at the PPTQs he participated in.

Done! That doesn’t look hard, does it? Just by answering the questions, you’re writing your Self-Review. We have prepared questions like these for all the qualities, you can answer them at your own pace. You do not have to do it all at once. Actually, do not do it all at once, it would be insane! A reasonable pace may be a quality per session with one or two sessions per week (summing up to one or two months in total). Also, do not lie. You will use your Self-Review as a means to improve as a judge, other than as a tick on a checklist. If your answers are not truthful, no self improvement is guaranteed!

The whole process looks something like this:
self-review flowchart
As you can see from the chart, asking questions is a powerful tool. When you have an example, then you just write it down, but when you don’t, you realize there’s some work to do in that very specific area. Indeed, a good Self-Review shouldn’t leave you saying “I need to improve in Leadership, Presence and Charisma”, but telling you where exactly the issue lies. Once you know the reasons, you can improve.

How to do that? Check back on this blog as we discuss in the second part what happens when you can’t find a positive example. In the meantime, we encourage you to give a look at some of the questions. The people we shared them with were surprised to find out they’re better Judges than they thought: they were just asking themselves the wrong questions.