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Charlottesville – Swinging into Spring Networking Session Report

Team Building Article

We began the session with networking using the speed networking tool called Glimpse.  Participants experienced 3-minute ‘get acquainted’ sessions with about five different people. The next activity was Scattergories, ably led by Chris Kontalonis. He created customized categories – for project managers as well as places in the Charlottesville area.  Our practice session was with the letter “P” – but the wheel spin stopped on K for the game.  Our winner of a $25 gift card was Elma Lotter; congratulations!

To gain an understanding of the needs and wants of the group, we conducted three polls, and following each, participants added ideas in the group chat.

Polling and Chatting to Provide Direction

The first poll focused on meeting formats and topics.  Participants voted for as many formats as they desired. Panel discussions were of greatest interest, followed by case studies from project managers.

Examples were provided for both Soft Skills and Team Dynamics, as follows:

  • Soft Skills such as leadership development, emotional intelligence, using DISC to manage clients, etc.
  • Team Dynamics such as establishing a fair and equitable work environment, communication, managing cross-generational teams, etc.

The chat session following the poll provided a wide variety of topics for speakers: Effective Risk Management, Persuasive Communication & Negotiation, PMO Development, Expectations Management, Infographics to tell a story, Effective Tools for Managing Scope, a variety of topics around Agile, Project Management Consulting, Organizational Change Management, Influencing and Interesting Career Paths.

We’ll use this list to recruit our speakers – and we welcome volunteers!

The second poll requested input on meeting locations. Given that we’re a relatively small group compared with the Richmond group, we can consider a variety of options.  Participants voted for as many locations as they desired. Meeting in local restaurants or academic settings were of greatest interest. About half were interested in meeting in a conference room of a local business.  For meeting locations outside of restaurants, the CVC chapter provides a catered meal.

There was only one topic in the chat:  Parking!!! One person suggested Shadwells, a local restaurant in the Pantops area that does have a lot a parking!

The third poll focused on an important aspects of local CVC chapters: opportunities to both meet and get to know other local project managers as well as to give back, both to the chapter and the community.  As indicated by the poll results, there was a high level of interest in a variety of give-back activities that would also provide opportunities for networking. For each poll topic, suggestions were provided, as follows:

  • Giving back to local nonprofit with a work day – food pantry, community garden, etc.
  • Mentoring local PMs – with projects or prep for PMP (or other PMI exams)
  • Community activity such as sponsoring 5K to benefit a charity, working as a group at Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up trails such as the Ivy Creek Wilderness, etc.
  • Managing a donation drive – such as school supplies, warm coats, other needs of community organizations

Chat responses showed interest in these activities: Offers of IT support for whatever activity we do, mentoring, helping with a volunteer project, being a leader of a volunteer project – and a request for a central place to share ideas.  (We’ll work on that!)

Time for the Magic Wand!

We wrapped up our activities by providing each participant with a virtual magic wand! Participants filled the white board with great ideas!

  • Networking
    • Networking to develop my PM skills
    • Networking to meet new people
    • PM job announcements
  • Enriching PM Skills
    • Role playing challenging PM situations and decision making
    • PMPs speaking about their projects
    • Share Negotiation/Persuasive communication tips
    • Mentoring and being mentored
    • Project with a problem that we help with
    • Sharing stories
    • PMP Jeopardy Game as a refresher
    • Would be neat to hear from local businesses and services
    • Viewing project management in different fields/industries
    • Would be neat to hear from local businesses and services
    • Helping with the new PMP exam
  • Fun activities
    • Project field trip – Monticello, Whole Food, WalMart Distribution center
    • Meet outside with a picnic and a speaker
    • A steak dinner!
  • Other ideas
    • Mix of in-person and virtual even after pandemic ends

And to end our fun evening, we spun the raffle wheel!

And the winner of a $25 gift card was Hans Hokans. Congratulations!


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