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Submitted by bentindale on


 Hi all,


Has anyone tried taking a video of their o3s and reviewing later for improvement opportunities?


If so, can you share your experience and any advice?


My question is inspired by this talk by Bill Gates:

In it, he discusses the power of taping teachers in class and reviewing their behaviour as a way of helping improve their performance.




mattpalmer's picture

The purpose of one-on-ones is to build a relationship.  Do you really think that videotaping a private conversation is going to help achieve that?

Let's turn it around.  Say your boss was doing something with you that you didn't really understand or trust, but you went along with it because hey, she's your boss, and might have a good idea.  Then she turns up one day with a camera on a tripod.  What's your reaction?  "Oh great, now we can review our performance"?  Or perhaps, "What the hell is going on here, and where's the nearest exit?"

Comparing an O3 to a classroom (or even one-on-one training session) is totally inappropriate.  One is a conversation, the other is a performance.  I'm all in favour of videotaping yourself presenting, and critiquing yourself until you're sick of the sight of that hideous tie, but an O3 is not a presentation.

For the sake of every person who has to do one-on-ones with your directs in the future, I beg you: Please.  Don't.  Do.  It.  

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

The relationship is between you and the direct.  Not you, the direct and a camera....or anyone who can play the video.  

There's no benefit to adding a camera to improve O3s over what you would gain from good notes.  

And let's not forget - the first 10 minutes of the O3 is all about the direct and what THEY want to achieve.  I bet they don't want to video tape in their portion.  So are you going to say "My turn now, and I want to tape last last 20..."? 

As Matt said, your comparison of a private O3 to a public display of one's work is completely off and inappropriate.  Any reasonable direct (or manager for that matter) would (rightly) feel completely violated if one party wanted to record.




Mark's picture
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Sure you can do this.  I've done it for managers I'm coaching.  HUNDREDS of times.  


1.  Only a couple, not everyone on your team, and not repeatedly.

2.  Ask the direct first.

3.  Choose a confident direct, or just your best.

4. Only tape yourself.  Tell them the tape will be destroyed.

5.  Make sure they know it's for your development.  You'll be able to hear what they say on the tape, but you'll be reviewing your behaviors.


Seriously, as the only guy who may have done this, I encourage you to go ahead, with the above cautions.  Works well.


bentindale's picture
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 Thanks Mark, Mark and Matt for your comments.


The initial strong reactions from Mark and Matt are a great reminder for me to ensure I frame the taping properly with my directs.


Mark H's advice is invaluable as always.




duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

I admit that I read your original post and immediately took the POV of the direct.  Happy to stand corrected, and appreciate your gracious response.  Let us know how you go with it.   I'd bet it is still an uncommon thing to do - so sharing your experience would be valuable.



bentindale's picture
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 I went ahead and did this with my two most confident directs, following Mark's advice above.

I'd highly recommend the exercise. For me, I noticed that I was missing the opportunity to use o3s to energise my directs. My voice, expressions and gestures came across too flat relative to what I was trying to convey.

However, I was pleased at the listening/speaking ratio, pace of questions and general level of engagement.

Also, it's worth noting that one of the directs I asked said she didn't feel comfortable with the process, so I passed. It hasn't had any adverse effects on our relationship.