Independent Study Update #9
This past week, I interviewed Tom Corbett to understand his style of production. During the discussion, Tom gave me valuable insight into how he handles the position, as well as how he interacts with other producers in his department.
First, Tom stated that he is much more likely to directly engage an uncooperative worker rather than let the negative influence this team member infiltrate the rest of his colleagues. He adopted this approach after he saw a coworker handle a volitile situation by not only directly confronting the unruly individual, but turning the conversation against the person. The negative employee had been screaming in Tom's friend's face saying that he was not doing his job, and then all of a sudden, the friend retorted that the coworker had been failing to meet the team's standards and needs. This immediately shut down the unruly person and made him introspective. He instantly wanted to know how he was being detrimental to the team and how he could change. Tom learned from this experience that confrontation does not need to be a horrible thing, and in some instances, it is the only thing that can disfuse an awful situation.
The other major topic that Tom touched on was how he interacts with the other producers on the OCCO team. There are three main producers on his team: Sarah Brenzel, Joe McCabe, and himself. These three individuals maintain the prject and team, but they vastly different approaches to achieving these goals. Sarah is much more schedule-oriented, making sure everyone knows where they need to go and when so that everything stays on track. Joe is more concerned with the technical aspects, ensuring that everyone has the tools (both the hardware and software) they need to accomplish their tasks. Tom has a more interpersonal approach, as he tries to make sure that any problems amongst the team are quelled and that any blockers between coworkers are removed. From this insight, I realized that as a single producer, I am technically taking on three different roles at the same time, which is a lot of responsibility for one person to take on at once. This is telling, and should be noted to future producers at the ETC. It may seem like you as a producer are taking on a lot, but that is only because you are taking on a lot.