Sunday, May 15, 2011
What kind of team player are you? - Ten team player characters in the workplace (1)
In recent years I met dozens of corporate teams from various organizations. They took active part in my scriptwriting and dramatization training sessions in front of a camera. One of the steps set out in these work processes was a role casting. This step is one of the most fascinating and engaging experiences, in which each person expresses himself in a role that matches his personality and the group decides together who will take part in what.
As a trainer and a filmmaker I am amazed every time I follow this fascinating process. My professional background and my origins come from a creative environment, in which filmmaking is the goal of all involved parties. The filmmakers' driving force is to create a movie or TV program or any other visual video format - and for this they need to work together as a team, being able to reach this artistic goal. Many artists consider this platform as an opportunity to express their personal statement, therefore the emotional element of interpersonal communication and “personal chemistry” is very powerful and critical factor for success. Team collaboration and personal expression of each individual staff member are examined in a process of determining the main functions contained in film cast, this interesting and multi-colored tapestry of people, which is supposed to create a single artwork. Who are those main characters? I chose to present here the characters of a producer, director, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, art designer, visual effects producer, animator, sound editor and of course - an actor. This short series of articles will present these team players, each article will address two of them.
Producer - he is the starting point of every production – he is an entrepreneur, a prime mover, an enabler, a charmer who can mobilize resources and budgets and make things happen, an organizer with a sharp business and financial sense. He is the one who is supposed to deal with most of the risks, strives to cope with difficult challenges - qualities that may sometimes make him appear as an aggressive, not sensitive enough, dictatorial, “cut corners” guy, tends to be in conflict with people, someone who people tend to be afraid of or the one who is supposed to bring the bad news - and therefore other team players use to communicate with him in an unnatural and insincere matter.
The director is his natural partner to production management. An ideal director will be one with advanced communication and organizational skills, a motivator, someone who provides a personal example, leading his cast to its best performance results, wisely manages conflicts, knows how to deal with the pressures, constraints and fears of his crew. As a creator he has a personal statement, combines the architectural vision skill (the finished film is completely visualized in his mind even before the first shot is being taken) with the ability of a very profound, focused and detailed interpretation skill. However, his inherent desire for perfection may create fatigue and emotional stress among his staff. His personal statement can provoke some conflicts and resistance from the rest of the creative team players. It may simply establish an emotional situation in which his crew cannot relate to his personal statement and therefore cannot perform the tasks. It's also the classical accelerator of a constant conflict with the producer, who is in fact his employer and expects him to strictly meet budget and time deadlines.
Now, my readers please think about the following two metaphoric questions:
1. What kind of team player are you - a producer, a director or both or someone completely different?
2. If you manage team players with director or producer characteristics - how would you lead these kind of team players in your team?
Food for thought for you...
Yulia Reinshmidt, CEO at CastEffect - Costeffective Proprietary Corporate Training Videos