Next time you’re at the buffet, you’ll do the dip

I Dip, You Dip

Hi there,

This week, let’s talk about “The Dip.”

The Dip

Last week, I participated in two separate professional development events (one of which was supporting the NC Craft Beer Guild – beer with lunch? Yes, please!).

The other event was a 4-day training on becoming an Effective Facilitator.

On day one, the facilitator of the training (isn’t that meta) asked us to score ourselves (1-10) on our competence and confidence in facilitating groups.

Most of the group gave answers somewhere in the 5-6 range.

He then revealed that, statistically speaking, there would be a pretty high chance that by the end of this week-long training, all of our confidence & competence scores would go DOWN.

And he was right.

For real?

Almost 30 hours of training, an entire week away from work (and home), endless cups of coffee and not-so-healthy snacks to stay awake… just so that we could feel less prepared to lead a facilitated session?

Yeah, that came as a shock to most of us, too…

BUT, he quickly followed up with an explanation:

“You’re going to feel less competent after this week because you’re going to have visited the buffet of facilitation strategies, tools, and tactics, only to come back with a plate the size of your kitchen table. Even that little mystery salad from the back is gonna find its way to your plate.

Now, you thought you knew how to eat. For goodness sake’s, you’ve been doing it to it your whole life.

But with a plate that big, you’ll hardly know where to start, let alone finish.

Once you sample a little bit of everything, then you’ll know what’s worth going back for, time and time again.”

Facilitator Batman

Now, this may seem a little redonkculous, but let’s continue with the analogy here.

The buffet experience can be broken down into three main phases:

1: Bliss

  • OMG I can’t wait to stuff my face NOM NOM NOM 😋😋😋

  • I’m gonna eat strategically and ride the wave 🌊

  • I know how this works — don’t load up on bread or soda — I’ll be just fine 🥖🥤

2: The Dip

  • My eyes were bigger than my stomach 👀

  • I don’t know why I grabbed the shrimp salad, I think I’m gonna be sick 🤢

  • I literally don’t know where to start 😖

3: Ease

  • The lamb and veggie kebab was amazing, as were the honey-glazed salmon and herb-roasted potatoes. I’m just gonna get a plate of those next time 🌯

  • Now I know to save room for the delectable dessert 🍰

  • Next time I wear my stretchy pants 👖

As he affirmed his initial statement, I spoke up and said:

“This makes total sense.

If you don’t dip, you don’t grow.”

Wannabe-Facilitator Bagel

Buffet jokes aside 😜

There’s a pretty logical reason for this, illustrated below:

This is because you’re moving from:

Unconscious incompetence: “I don’t know what I don’t know!” (i.e. Bliss)


Conscious incompetence: “Oh $&^@, I actually suck at this” (i.e. The “Dip”)


Conscious competence: “Ah, I’m feel strong in this because I know what I’m doing” (i.e. Ease)

In other words...

Embrace the dip. Becoming aware of your incompetence is essential in the process of building confidence & competence, and becoming great.

See ya next week!

🥯 Bagel 🥯