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Unlocking the “Secret Sauce” of Great Teams


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Heather Fleming discusses two frameworks that can be used with individuals to improve communication, increase empathy and establish the psychologically safe environment a team needs to thrive. She also demonstrates how GILT builds teams around initiatives using a “Team Ingredients” framework that focuses on each individual's strengths and talents and what they are contributing to the team. Filmed at

Heather Fleming is VP of Product & Program Management at GILT. She works with teams on a variety of initiatives including funnel optimization, site search, product listing and detail page redesigns, international e-commerce & redistribution, B2C marketplace and customer service. Heather is an active speaker on Agile methodologies at many conferences including Agile Alliance, Agile NYC.

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Unlocking the “Secret Sauce” of Great Teams

  1. 1. Unlocking the “Secret Sauce” of Great Teams Heather Fleming @hfleming
  2. 2. News & Community Site • 750,000 unique visitors/month • Published in 4 languages (English, Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese) • Post content from our QCon conferences • News 15-20 / week • Articles 3-4 / week • Presentations (videos) 12-15 / week • Interviews 2-3 / week • Books 1 / month Watch the video with slide synchronization on! gilt-team-communication
  3. 3. Presented at QCon New York Purpose of QCon - to empower software development by facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation Strategy - practitioner-driven conference designed for YOU: influencers of change and innovation in your teams - speakers and topics driving the evolution and innovation - connecting and catalyzing the influencers and innovators Highlights - attended by more than 12,000 delegates since 2007 - held in 9 cities worldwide
  4. 4. Empathy & Communication Forging Real Connections Authentic Self Psychologically Safe Environments
  5. 5. Unlock Yourself. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
  6. 6. Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961), a Swiss psychiatrist, developed a theory of personality: Differences between people are not random. Instead they form patterns—types. Psychological Types (published 1921, translated into English 1923) A Brief History Lesson...
  7. 7. Katharine C. Briggs (1875–1968), an American, read Jung’s Psychological Types in 1923. She spent the next 20 years studying, developing, and applying Jung’s theory. A Brief History Lesson...
  8. 8. Isabel Briggs Myers (1897–1980) developed Jung’s theory in partnership with Briggs. Beginning in 1943, she developed questions that became the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator® instrument. A Brief History Lesson...
  9. 9. Jung’s Personality Theory Jung believed that preferences are innate—“inborn predispositions” He also recognized that they are shaped by environmental influences, such as family, culture, and education Nature MBTI® instrument vs. Nurture Environment
  10. 10. Handedness Activity
  11. 11. The MBTI® Dichotomies The MBTI® instrument indicates preferences on four pairs of opposites, called dichotomies: Extraversion E or I Introversion Sensing S or N Intuition Thinking T or F Feeling Judging J or P Perceiving
  12. 12. Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I) Where we focus our attention and get energy Source: Introduction to Type® (6th ed.), I. B. Myers, p. 9.
  13. 13. People who prefer Extraversion (E) ▪ Are energized by interacting with others ▪ Are sociable and expressive ▪ Prefer to communicate face- to-face ▪ Work out ideas by talking them through Where People Focus Their Attention People who prefer Introversion (I) ▪ Are energized by opportunity to reflect ▪ Are private and contained ▪ Prefer to communicate by writing ▪ Work out ideas by thinking them through Source: Introduction to Type® (6th ed.), I. B. Myers, p. 9.
  14. 14. Source: Introduction to Type® and Change, N. J. Barger & L. K. Kirby, p. 4. E-I Illustration
  15. 15. Extraversion Action Outward People Interaction Many Expressive Do-Think-Do Key Words Associated with E-I Introversion Reflection Inward Privacy Concentration Few Quiet Think-Do-Think
  16. 16. Sensing (S) or Intuition (N) The way we take in information and the kind of information we like and trust Source: Introduction to Type® (6th ed.), I. B. Myers, p. 9.
  17. 17. People who prefer Sensing (S) ▪ Build carefully and thoroughly toward conclusions ▪ Understand ideas and theories through practical applications ▪ Are specific and literal ▪ Trust experience How People Take In Information People who prefer Intuition (N) ▪ Move quickly to conclusions, follow hunches ▪ Generate ideas and theories; application is secondary ▪ Use metaphors and analogies ▪ Trust insight Source: Introduction to Type® (6th ed.), I. B. Myers, p. 9.
  18. 18. Source: Introduction to Type® and Change, N. J. Barger & L. K. Kirby, p. 4. S-N Illustration
  19. 19. Sensing Facts Realistic Specific Present Keep Practical What is Key Words Associated with S-N Intuition Ideas Imaginative General Future Change Theoretical What could be
  20. 20. Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) The way we make decisions Source: Introduction to Type® (6th ed.), I. B. Myers, p. 10.
  21. 21. People who prefer Thinking (T) ▪ Step back to get an objective view ▪ Analyze ▪ Use cause-and-effect reasoning ▪ Solve problems with logic How People Make Decisions People who prefer Feeling (F) ▪ Step in to identify with those involved ▪ Empathize ▪ Are guided by personal and group values ▪ Assess impacts of decisions on people Source: Introduction to Type® (6th ed.), I. B. Myers, p. 10.
  22. 22. Source: Introduction to Type® and Change, N. J. Barger & L. K. Kirby, p. 5. T-F Illustration
  23. 23. Thinking Head Detached Things Objective Critique Analyze Firm but fair Key Words Associated with T-F Feeling Heart Personal People Subjective Praise Understand Merciful
  24. 24. Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) Our attitude toward the external world and how we orient ourselves to it Source: Introduction to Type® (6th ed.), I. B. Myers, p. 10.
  25. 25. People who prefer Judging (J) ▪ Like to have things decided ▪ Resist reopening decisions ▪ Try to avoid last-minute stresses How People Approach Life People who prefer Perceiving (P) ▪ Like to explore options ▪ Resist cutting off options, making decisions too soon ▪ Feel energized by last-minute pressures Source: Introduction to Type® (6th ed.), I. B. Myers, p. 10.
  26. 26. Source: Introduction to Type® and Change, N. J. Barger & L. K. Kirby, p. 5. J-P Illustration
  27. 27. Judging Organized Decision Control Now Closure Deliberate Plan Key Words Associated with J-P Perceiving Flexible Information Experience Later Options Spontaneous Wait
  28. 28. Personality Type When combined, your preferences indicate your personality type.
  29. 29. 16 Personality Types
  30. 30. Levels of Confidence “Best-fit” type Reported type Self-estimated type True type - innate predispositions
  31. 31. Unlock Your Team. The “Team Ingredients” Framework
  32. 32. We value an individual’s strengths and what they bring to the team and believe an individual should be able to contribute to the team using these strengths - regardless of their job role or title.
  33. 33. Initiative Visionary: Drives a comprehensive product strategy taking into account company strategy and market and competitive landscape to drive financial benefit to the organization (increase revenue, decrease cost, operational efficiency).
  34. 34. Marketer: Determines product/feature positioning for the customer by defining and articulating the messaging and positioning for product so the customer clearly understands the benefit.
  35. 35. Ideator: Formulates and executes backlog development. Drives the scoping, planning and scheduling of work. Drives KPI thinking and can easily size multiple opportunities and prioritize based on impact. Is able to forecast and review revenue/cost actuals and budget impact of products developed.
  36. 36. Cruise Director: Makes things fun. Creates a sense of team spirit. Sets up team events, lunches, happy hours, etc. Decorates team area. Helps with stickers, team swag.
  37. 37. Motivator: Excites and motivates through an understanding of individual and team dynamics. Clearly articulates why the work the team is doing is important. Develops an environment of highly engaged individuals by demonstrating passion and enthusiasm. Inspires the team to achieve their goals.
  38. 38. Data Analyst: Leverages data to propose hypotheses and AB tests. Uses data to influence product direction. Can clearly communicate what data means. Develops models and assumptions for budget forecasting and tracks results. Help interpret how customers engage with new features.
  39. 39. External Relationship Manager: Provides regular updates on status and team achievements. Develops relationships with external stakeholders. Leads productive meetings. Creates and delivers excellent presentations for the team.
  40. 40. Benefits to this approach...
  41. 41. Thanks! Be You.
  42. 42. Watch the video with slide synchronization on! team-communication