We All Start as a Rookie

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We’re super lucky this year to have 16 new students and 2 new mentors join the ID team for year two!

With new team members, it means we have an even larger diversity in our levels of comfort with design thinking at this point. The Disney Cohort has evidently grown in our capabilities since last year both as innovators and just as working as a cohort of people, and it has been cool over the last few weeks to really see this growth from last year and notice the potential for future growth. The Jobs Cohort (they too self-named themselves, and as you may have guessed, their cohort chose Steve Jobs as their innovator), understandably, is still building that level of comfort with each other and the innovation world. Since the two cohorts are on different levels at this point, it makes for some really interesting conversations when the two cohorts come together as we do occasionally.

Seeing as we are still early on in the year, and the two cohorts don’t spend all of our time together, I feel like I haven’t really gotten to know all of the Jobs Cohort members that well yet; key word being yet. What was neat about today was that the two cohorts were working together for a good chunk of time and we spent specific time reading each others’ blog posts about what we want to be known for, thus getting to know each other better. (With being sick last Thursday, I actually do not have a blog post on this topic myself, so I just got to read other peoples’ work today.)

As we read the blog posts, we also gave each other comment-like feedback on our posts. For me it was in general interesting to read these posts not only because of the content, but also to remember what it was like when I first started out blogging and how lost I felt as for what to write about or how to write it. Even some of my own cohort members in the Disney Cohort have only just started blogging and are hesitant about feeling pressured to always write something deep and thoughtful. I totally remember this feeling myself, and if it wasn’t for me taking the 100 day challenge to write everyday for 100 days in a row, I don’t know how much I really would have blogged.

It can be hard, but sometimes you just have to pick up the computer and start typing what ever you observed that day, then eventually your observations will become more clear and detailed. It’s hard to guess what people want to read, so it’s often better to not try and guess what others want to read and to just focus on what you have to say. Eventually those two will line up and someone out there will care to listen.

When you start a blog you actually have another way to write as well as just posting your own blogs because you also have the power to comment on other blogs, and you will likely respond to some of your own. Today we discussed what good feedback looks like because school feedback on writing often looks different from real world feedback at this point. Bloggers don’t want to hear “your grammar was totally off here” (sure sometimes it’s really bad and needs a correction, but it’s not typically online comment worthy). Short little comments like “ya I agree” or “I really liked you wording” are also not too meaningful because you could express that same idea just by liking a post, and never underestimate the power of liking a post.

The best comments are the ones that provide specific contextual evidence and add to the conversation that a blogger has started. Often times questions and links are a great way to make others think deeper about topics and can help people refine their writing and clarify their opinions for the future. We also discussed how by showing a sense of understanding and empathy with the writer can really strengthen your feedback because it makes a reader more compelled to listen.

As I grow as a blogger myself, I can’t wait to read all of the ideas that will come from all of our new rookie bloggers in ID. It’s going to be such a fun year! 🙂

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