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Assertive Niceness

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Designing and delivering as a team isn’t always easy. Sometimes teams get crosswise with each other, clients get suspicious, deliverables get dropped, and things just aren’t going your way. This session will explore core characteristics of successful teams, how to cope when things get bad, and ways to reset the environment (even if you’re not the leader!)

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Assertive Niceness

  1. 1. © 2017 Versay Solutions Assertive Niceness: How to Turn Around a Toxic Team Crispin Reedy, Versay Solutions @crispinTX crispinreedy.com #BigD17
  2. 2. © 2017 Versay Solutions • Voice User Interface Designer • 15+ years in the field • Former coder; got interested in UX • President of the Association for Voice Interaction Design • Consultant for Versay Solutions @crispinTX crispinreedy.com
  3. 3. © 2017 Versay Solutions Session Description •Designing and delivering as a team isn’t always easy. Sometimes teams get crosswise with each other, clients get suspicious, deliverables get dropped, and things just aren’t going your way. •This session will explore core characteristics of successful teams, how to cope when things get bad, and ways to reset the environment (even if you’re not the leader!)
  4. 4. © 2017 Versay Solutions Format •What to Aspire To •Assertive Niceness •Discussion
  5. 5. © 2017 Versay Solutions What to Aspire To
  6. 6. © 2017 Versay Solutions Google’s Project Aristotle “What makes a team effective at Google?” The Odyssey Online
  7. 7. © 2017 Versay Solutions Why Aristotle? The Odyssey Online “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”
  8. 8. © 2017 Versay Solutions What is a team? The Odyssey Online Team members need one another to get work done
  9. 9. © 2017 Versay Solutions rework.withgoogle.com Executives Team Leaders Team Members Sales Performance Google’s Measure of Effectiveness
  10. 10. © 2017 Versay Solutions •180 teams •Composition •Dynamics •Interviews with leaders •Existing survey data rework.withgoogle.com Methodology
  11. 11. © 2017 Versay Solutions •Group dynamics •Skill sets •Personality traits •Emotional intelligence •Demographics rework.withgoogle.com Survey Questions
  12. 12. © 2017 Versay Solutions •What factors: • Impacted multiple outcome metrics? • Showed up in different kinds of teams? • Were consistent? • Were statistically significant? rework.withgoogle.com Analysis
  13. 13. © 2017 Versay Solutions •Colocation of teammates •Consensus-driven decision making •Extroversion •Individual performance •Workload •Seniority •Team size •Tenure rework.withgoogle.com What Didn’t Matter
  14. 14. © 2017 Versay Solutions
  15. 15. © 2017 Versay Solutions thehappycatsite.com Psychological Safety
  16. 16. © 2017 Versay Solutions A shared belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes Amy Edmonson Psychological Safety
  17. 17. © 2017 Versay Solutions Frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem Amy Edmonson Psychological Safety
  18. 18. © 2017 Versay Solutions Acknowledge your own fallibility Amy Edmonson Psychological Safety
  19. 19. © 2017 Versay Solutions Model curiosity and ask lots of questions Amy Edmonson Psychological Safety
  20. 20. © 2017 Versay Solutions Comfort Zone Learning Zone (Performance Zone) Apathy Zone Anxiety Zone Amy Edmonson Motivation & Accountability PsychologicalSafety Low Low High High
  21. 21. © 2017 Versay Solutions
  22. 22. © 2017 Versay Solutions  Individuals have clear roles and responsibilities.  Everybody understands what everybody else is doing rework.withgoogle.com Dependability
  23. 23. © 2017 Versay Solutions  Everyone knows the team goals and the plan for achieving them  Team meetings have a clear agenda and designated leader. rework.withgoogle.com Structure and Clarity
  24. 24. © 2017 Versay Solutions  People on the team give each other positive feedback when applicable  People are willing to volunteer to help others  People publicly hand out appreciation for others when things go well rework.withgoogle.com Meaning
  25. 25. © 2017 Versay Solutions  Co-create a clear vision that reinforces how each team member’s work directly contributes to the team’s and broader organization's goals.  Reflect on the work you're doing and how it impacts users or clients and the organization.  Adopt a user-centered evaluation method and focus on the user. rework.withgoogle.com Impact
  26. 26. © 2017 Versay Solutions When It All Goes Wrong
  27. 27. © 2017 Versay Solutions Team Blame & Whine Toxic Tina Serious Problems
  28. 28. © 2017 Versay Solutions Meta Skills
  29. 29. © 2017 Versay Solutions (as much as you can)
  30. 30. © 2017 Versay Solutions Get outside of it
  31. 31. © 2017 Versay Solutions Mindfulness
  32. 32. © 2017 Versay Solutions Find A Friend
  33. 33. © 2017 Versay Solutions Assertive Niceness
  34. 34. © 2017 Versay Solutions  Why Assertive?  Why Nice? Assertive Niceness
  35. 35. © 2017 Versay Solutions  Be Brave!  Don’t Witch-Hunt, Troubleshoot  Expect Niceness  Have Small Fun  Get Face-to-Face  Use Active Listening  Foster Happy Decision-Making Assertive Niceness
  36. 36. © 2017 Versay Solutions Team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other  Frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem  Acknowledge your own fallibility  Model curiosity and ask lots of questions Amy Edmonson Psychological Safety
  37. 37. © 2017 Versay Solutions Bravery
  38. 38. © 2017 Versay Solutions Don’t Witch-Hunt, Troubleshoot
  39. 39. © 2017 Versay Solutions Expect Niceness Expectancy Bias Yourself Towards Niceness
  40. 40. © 2017 Versay Solutions Bodhisattva Never- Disparaging
  41. 41. © 2017 Versay Solutions Small Fun
  42. 42. © 2017 Versay Solutions Get Face To Face
  43. 43. Active Listening
  44. 44. © 2017 Versay Solutions  Don’t sweat the small stuff  Make Yes the default (if you can)  Always lead with a recommendation  Then go to choices, backed up with reasons for A or B  Educate your business team about design!  Keep the focus on project goals  When you really want to say “No”… Happy Decision Making
  45. 45. © 2017 Versay Solutions  Be Brave!  Don’t Witch-Hunt, Troubleshoot  Expect Niceness  Have Small Fun  Get Face-to-Face  Active Listening  Foster Happy Decision-Making Assertive Niceness
  46. 46. © 2017 Versay Solutions Discussion
  47. 47. © 2017 Versay Solutions @crispinTX Crispin Reedy Thanks!

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