Where Robot, Pirate, Ninja helps identify our personal presentation and communication style, communication doesn’t happen in a vacuum. How can we take our presentation style and apply that to group dynamics?
Level of Difficulty:
After reviewing the Definitions, feel free to jump directly to the Practical Application. This is usually an exercise reserved for improvisers.
The Meat is the primary performer, or communicator in a scene. In a practical sense, this might be the lead on the project, or the person facilitating a particular meeting.
The Potato, is the necessary starch of the meal. It balances the Meat by providing additional context and support. In a practical sense, if the meat-persona is someone involved in business development, the potato will be the strategist supporting the presentation providing additional structure and context.
Parsley is the garnish. These folks are critical to taking the structure and form provided by the Meat and Potato and adding additional details. Think of all the designers, developers, and delivery team that sit in on meetings. While their input may be less vocal than the project leads, when they do share, they are adding key value and perspective to illustrate your teams depth of thinking.
To play Meat-Potato-Parsley start a three person scene having identified who from the team will play each role. The Meat should initiate the scene. After 10-15 seconds of initiation, the Potato should join the scene. The Parsley should enter at some point for a walk-on, or minor character. The entire scene should last 2-3 minutes.
After concluding the scene, swap roles to see how they impact your behavior.
Try the scene, changing roles so that everyone can be the Meat, Potato, and Parsley. How do the roles change based on your Robot, Pirate, Ninja personality?
Some might say that the leader of a presentation has the most Status, or Hierarchy. While it is true that organizations often encourage more senior individuals to present, that does not mean newer, or more junior, members must be relegated to the Parsley role.
When going into a meeting, think about who set the agenda, and what the goals are. Are you a main driver of the conversation (meat)? A supporting player (potato)? Or part of the broader team, critical to ensure all the parts align (parsley).
In order to have a balanced, and well presented plate, all three roles are necessary. How can we best identify our roles and support our teams?