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First, Break All the Rules Pt. 1: Select for Talent

In the first of our four part series on the book First, Break All the Rules, Jason and Adam discuss the first Key: Select for Talent. What is talent and how do you identify it as a manager in a team member? Watch the video to find out and join the discussion below.


6 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    I think the first step to development (either for yourself or if helping someone else) is to bring out the mirror.

    Being aware of what talents and skills you actually possess, along with a humble approach, will go a long way in determining what your next steps should be. As Jason and Adam mentioned in the video, it isn’t going to be the same thing for every person. Utilizing Cassie’s blog posts on the Enneagram can help, as can doing any number of “tests,” like the Myers-Briggs, Strengths Finder 2.0, SWOT, and so on. These are all helpful in figuring out how to best navigate a world that tells us “anyone can do anything,” and then scolds us for trying to be something we’re not.

  2. Kevin says:

    I would be interested to know if the author references the Leader-Member Exchange Theory in the book or used it as a resource at all. His approach seems to take the same style to relationship building.

    • Jason says:

      Hey Kevin. Nice connection! I’m not that familiar with the theory but I think you are correct. It certainly does apply. Has that theory helped you navigate relationships?

  3. Alyssa says:

    Being a younger manager, I definitely came into the position assuming I knew how to manage and what to look for in potential new hires. I very quickly learned I was wrong, and one of the first things I seemed to adapt into my management style was developing those individual relationships with my team and knowing how to help each individual (very easy when you’ve worked with the same team for 2 years prior to a promotion). In regards to development, I love to start each new hire’s training off with some solid 1 on 1 discussions following orientation. I figure out what areas of the job seem more daunting than others and what areas this new team member seems to find the most exciting. It’s an easy way to at least find a baseline of what they will enjoy and where their talents might be. I intentionally schedule myself to work certain shifts with certain employees to maintain a relationship, but also to just check in and see what more I can be doing for them. The conversations often lead to me creating new opportunities to allow my team members to grow, even if it’s just adding a new task to their daily duties or asking them to assist me with a project. They feel more involved and I’m helping them grow a talent or skill they maybe didn’t even know they had. As far as interviewing goes, I am still finding my footing. My go-to questions center around how they would make a new person feel welcomed and how they would react to a group telling their game master they had a negative experience after the game. As Adam stated in the video, there are definitely some good answers that I can’t dispute, but the answers I’m looking for would show more empathy than a general “smile and be nice” approach. I recently had an interviewee describe a bad experience they had at another escape room, and I flipped the script to ask how they would respond to a guest with the same complaints. Her answer sounded almost straight out of the Breakout playbook, pulling a “creative yes” and wanting the guest to leave feeling validated and encouraged to try again. She obviously could connect with that experience and wants to make sure our guests don’t have that same experience.

    • Jason says:

      Thanks for the thoughts Alyssa! I love how you dive into discussion questions right away with new team members. Also, your go-to questions for interviews is right on target with the talents we are looking for. Keep up the good work!

  4. Tanner says:

    Good stuff guys. I think with Breakout, one of the biggest assets for a game master is the ability to read people and groups. Since each group that comes through, requires different attention and specifically how they want their games to be run. So we try to get a feel for that ability during an interview. So questions like, “How have you been able to pick up on subtleties of a person’s attitude or emotions in a situation that let you know you needed to change the course of either the conversation or the action?” This helps to figure out their level of empathy, perception, and also helps us to know that this person may be quick on their feet in varying the way they do something to please a guest. For example, if an interviewee had been a restaurant server before, and was asked to help a guest make a decision, they could be talking about a certain dish, and see the guest kind of perk up when they mentioned a specific ingredient of that dish. Then they go on to suggest some different dishes, that they like even better with that ingredient. Or contrarily, seeing a guest grimace when heavier foods are being discussed, so they flip it and give them lighter menu options. Very small things, at a glance, but can be very meaningful to a guest’s experience. Bottom line… WE LOVE EMPATHY, PERCEPTION and IMPROV!! haha

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