Pluses and Deltas

Post by: Margaret

At our week of training this summer we learned many new skills from cold calls to social norms, we even learned how to bake our own bread! And after each training we did another new thing: pluses and deltas. Pluses and deltas are an evaluation of what went well (+) and what needed improvement (Δ). At the time, we (at least me) thought we were just evaluating trainings, little did we (me) know then that this was just as important a life skill as all the others.

My beloved team, Eastern Mass, has used little of this important tool since our first week. Viewing it as something for the trainers to use in planning next year’s climate summer, we forgot their significance. However, recently after having our own events (planned from start to finish ourselves) we have started to recognize their relevance.

Unfortunately, it was not blatantly obvious to us that perhaps, we should be learning more from when our events did not work exactly as we had planned. We had forgotten the pluses and deltas: the evaluation. We were simply making small mistakes, but if you don’t learn from a mistake, what is the point?

We must accept everything that happens, the positive and the negative, the pluses and the deltas. By acknowledging our past flaws we hope to avoid similar mishaps in the future.

Delta: Bring scissors next time!

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2 Responses to Pluses and Deltas

  1. Lisa says:

    Great comment about pluses and deltas! In my work with continuous improvement and high functioning teams…I’ve found the self-evaluation process to be incredibly valuable. It has a way of turning “failure” into “feedback” so that mistakes (small to large) can be fuel for learning and improvement…rather than a source of confidence robbing denial and/or guilt.
    Sounds like a great lesson learned and a job well done!
    Thanks for all that you’re doing in this work…

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks Lisa!
      I agree that some times it is hard to take a good look at things that didn’t go as well as planned and focus on what went great, but both are really important. In organizing we have to remember what went well and were we need to improve.

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