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LHS Staff - Compulsive Tinkerers or Just Nuts?

We tried a new workshop format this week. We had a panel of presenters talk about managing people – Dan McCain from the Wabash and Erie Canal Interpretive Center and Museum spoke about managing volunteers; Tanis Monday from the Putnam County Museum talked about managing interns; and Diane Ballard from the Monroe County History Center spoke about managing paid staff.

Each talked about their philosophy for about 15 minutes and then took questions from the audience. It was time for a snack break including Tanis’s delicious homemade coffee cake. After that the participants shared tips, techniques and habits they use in managing people. Another round of questions from the audience followed. We solicited questions in advance so some of the topics were presented anonymously including how to deal with conflict and how to break up projects into manageable chunks. The questions moved towards integrating new people into the organization and leading by example. The best piece of advice was to find people better than you and they would make you look great.

The half-day workshop wrapped up with all of us heading to the restaurant Almost Home in Greencastle. The conversations during lunch were great. The food was fabulous. The restaurant is known for their desserts – I had grasshopper pie. My end of the table also had strawberry pizza, lemon meringue pie and other choices.

I liked the casual and conversational format and it seemed so did the participants. We also know that not all topics would work in this style of presentation. What do you think? Would you like this style of presentation? What topics would you like to see in this type of format?

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