After Mix IT 2016, here is the 2nd intervention that I had the pleasure of performing at CPE Lyon – the school from which I graduated a few years ago.
The initial request was to build a 2 hour workshop on international interviews for students having this opportunity this year. However, what seemed to me the most important to know about this is that depending on the country, there is a cultural difference to take into account. So, after discussing with Mairi Beaton, an English teacher at CPE Lyon – who had to support me during my engineering cycle – I told myself that my contribution would be much more interesting elsewhere.
Indeed, even if the culture differs according to the country, one thing should not fundamentally change during an interview: it is our identity. This is why I finally decided to orient my workshop on the development of talents to give students the opportunity to get to know themselves better, to formalize certain aspects of their personality, and thus to present themselves with more serenity. In fact, I simply wanted to offer them what I would have liked to have had before arriving on the job market! 😉
For starters, why not put a frame different from the usual? 😉
The workshop agenda was posted on the whiteboard, visible to all, with a graphic facilitation minimal: there are habits that cannot be lost! 😉
I tried to use a diamond process for content to facilitate the creative process as it combines divergent and convergent aspects of thought.
Indeed, we could do the following mapping:
- Divergence : Human Bingo and Definition in 3 words
- Green Zone : Analysis of inner talents
- Convergence : definition of a Slogan and a Pitch Elevator
Let's go into a little more detail about these different activities! 😉
Do you know the game of bingo ? Well Human Bingo is the same thing except that instead of studying numbers, we study characteristics of people! 😉
Thus, participants are asked to write on a white A4 sheet a unusual fact about them or unique feature of their personality.
After collecting all the productions, they are shuffled and displayed in a grid on a wall. Each participant has a blank grid in his or her possession on which he or she will have to write the person's name in the space corresponding to the fact or characteristic that concerns him or her. The objective is then to form a line, a column or a diagonal to win!
I was particularly surprised at how it went. Indeed, most of the time it is the brouahah in the room because everyone goes to meet the other to find their answers. It was pretty quiet this time as everyone was mostly guessing rather than checking – "that's the game otherwise there is no interest" I was answered! 😛
The idea of this activity was to allow students to see each other from a different perspective than usual. I am not just a 4th year student at CPE Lyon in this or that section, I am also Rhône Champion in Basketball, I built a school in India, or I have a passion for shoes.
Define me in 3 words
It is not always easy to have a coherent vision of oneself. Indeed, there may be a significant gap between what we think we are broadcasting and what is perceived around us.
Thus, in an attempt to align these 2 aspects, each student had to get feedback from their classmates by asking them the following question:
If you had to define me in 3 words,
2 characterizing what you consider to be strong points and 1 as being an axis to be improved,
what would they be?
The idea is obviously to explain his choices with concrete examples.
This exercise is then the place of a double learning: students learn to give and receive feedback without value judgments. Indeed, in a world where criticism is often too easy, it is important to also see the feedback as a gift what we do to the other to help him progress and evolve.
Thus, the objective of this part is to allow students to open their personal field of consciousness by stepping into their "Blind Zone", as described in the Johari window.
Passing in a group, I was told that the exercise was all the more difficult as they did not know each other very well. I found this very interesting because it is true that when we know each other the feedback can be more precise, but that does not prevent that in reality it does not take us very long to get an idea of someone. 'a (even if it is false!).
The feedback that we share is then all the more powerful as it expresses the first impressions that we have had and as the saying goes "we never have a second chance to make a good first impression". .
To support this idea, I had fun doing the exercise with a student based on what I had seen of her behavior during Human Bingo. I asked her if she could do the same about me before leaving, which she kindly did. Having been entitled to insightful in one of my strengths, so maybe I wasn't totally wrong about it! 🙂
Anyway, thank you to her for playing the game and for giving me this gift! 🙂
Looking for my talents
We then return to the heart of the matter. After having been able to have a different look on others as well as on oneself, it was time to go in search of one's own talents!
The instructions were quite simple: each student had to list 7 facts that he or she considered a success and write down the qualities implemented to achieve them (a quality list was provided in the support distributed at the start of the workshop ). It is important not to take into account the outside opinion, it is what we personally consider to be a success that is.
A student told me that she was proud to have helped her brother during his studies but that in the end it was not her success but rather that of her brother. I first congratulated her and then indicated that her efforts were just as valuable as the end result! Among other things, what had been the qualities that she had implemented to allow her brother to succeed? " Above all, patience! she told me with a smile! This is exactly what we seek to find, these qualities that allow us to achieve our goals and that we naturally implement! 😉
Note: You could ask me: “But why 7? ". Quite simply because 3 was too little, 5 was too mathematical and 10 maybe too long for the time allocated to us. The objective is nevertheless to encourage students to truly challenge themselves in their research and not stop too quickly.
After having listed their successes and their associated qualities, it was time to analyze the constants, to highlight certain specific aspects of their personality. This is the beginning of convergence.
Each student now had the objective of formulating a slogan of the form:
"I am a..." or "I am a person who...".
With very good reason, I was asked for an example concerning myself. This is what I answered:
I am Happiness Promoter,
I promote well-being as a strategy in both professional and personal life.
I am a Pragmatic Theorist,
I love theory but it only takes on value when I manage to put it into practice.
I am a Options scout,
I help people see alternative paths by letting them choose to take them.
The exercise is very challenging when you have never asked yourself the question. Indeed, the remark that was made to me is that it is difficult to summarize his identity in one sentence, which I totally agree with. I myself must have taken some time to construct the examples above, each describing a different trait of my personality.
The main objective was above all to allow the students to take a moment to think about it and possibly to have a first draft in view of the time allowed.
Now, despite the difficulty, I find this very meaningful.
Imagine that you are quietly waiting for the elevator at the bottom of a building. Then come the CEO of the company in which you want to work or an investor to whom you want to sell your project. So you only have the elevator ride to make a " good first impression to your interlocutor.
Here is what is called theElevator Pitch, the final exercise to conclude the workshop!
Thus, the objective is to construct a short text in a few sentences with, for example:
- Hook, Slogan: to arouse curiosity
- Synthetic career path: to structure the context
- Skills and professional success: to materialize your qualities
- Professional objectives: to give a vision in the future
- Interests: for personalize his speech and explain Why you do this
- Opening: to give oneself theopportunity to get a real first interview! 😉
There is still a difference between the writing of the text and its oral presentation. I then suggested that the students come and try out their pitch in front of the audience and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the content produced in such a short time! Congratulations to you ! 🙂
And even the teachers get caught up in the game! 😉
I personally have excellent memories of this workshop. Indeed, I appreciated having been able to discuss with the students and I hope in any case that this will help them find the path that will suit them best in the future. If it had to be done again, I think having twice the time with half of the participants would be more relevant. This would allow you to take the time to talk with everyone without having to run after time! 🙂
I would particularly like to thank Laure Forgeot D'Arc who was able to make this experience possible, Mairi Beaton for her support during the workshop and of course the students for their participation and their good humor! 😉