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It's not you, it's us: Winning over people for yourself and the team

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It's not you, it's us: Winning over people for yourself and the team

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The best teams are the ones with a diverse ways of working, diverse opinions, and diverse backgrounds. BUT with great diversity comes great responsibility -- what do you do when someone rubs you the wrong way or when people don't quite get along?

The problem is simple: not getting along, and the solution is simple, too: getting along. What's not so easy is the magic in between. At pivotal labs, we pair with clients and have little influence over who shows up at our door from our client. Moreover, we work closely together on teams; we pair with each other 1 on 1 for the full day and switch pairs daily. With little room for conflict, we need a really good bag of tricks if we want to have a successful project and career.

Instead of focusing on whether you will like everyone, let's talk about how to make the overall experience better. From understanding yourself and modifying your own behaviors to understanding others and modifying theirs, there's a lot to try.

The best teams are the ones with a diverse ways of working, diverse opinions, and diverse backgrounds. BUT with great diversity comes great responsibility -- what do you do when someone rubs you the wrong way or when people don't quite get along?

The problem is simple: not getting along, and the solution is simple, too: getting along. What's not so easy is the magic in between. At pivotal labs, we pair with clients and have little influence over who shows up at our door from our client. Moreover, we work closely together on teams; we pair with each other 1 on 1 for the full day and switch pairs daily. With little room for conflict, we need a really good bag of tricks if we want to have a successful project and career.

Instead of focusing on whether you will like everyone, let's talk about how to make the overall experience better. From understanding yourself and modifying your own behaviors to understanding others and modifying theirs, there's a lot to try.

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It's not you, it's us: Winning over people for yourself and the team

  1. 1. It’s not you, it’s us: Winning over people for yourself and the team Neha Batra, Engineer at Pivotal Labs @nerdneha #s1p #springone
  2. 2. It’s not you, it’s us; squad goals To give you a toolchest of techniques to enable all personalities of your team, clients, and customers to prevent and mitigate issues as they come up with a facilitator’s mindset. @nerdneha
  3. 3. It’s not you, it’s us; squad goals To give you a toolchest of techniques to enable all personalities of your team, clients, and customers to prevent and mitigate issues as they come up with a facilitator’s mindset. @nerdneha
  4. 4. It’s not you, it’s us; squad goals To give you a toolchest of techniques to enable all personalities of your team, clients, and customers to prevent and mitigate issues as they come up with a facilitator’s mindset. @nerdneha
  5. 5. It’s not you, it’s us; squad goals To give you a toolchest of techniques to enable all personalities of your team, clients, and customers to prevent and mitigate issues as they come up with a facilitator’s mindset. ● Get good teamwork in the first place ● Deal with issues as they come @nerdneha
  6. 6. It’s not you, it’s us; squad goals To give you a toolchest of techniques to enable all personalities of your team, clients, and customers to prevent and mitigate issues as they come up with a facilitator’s mindset. @nerdneha
  7. 7. My interest in facilitating better team interactions @nerdneha
  8. 8. My interest in facilitating better team interactions @nerdneha
  9. 9. My interest in facilitating better team interactions @nerdneha
  10. 10. People are both the problem and the solution
  11. 11. “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  12. 12. Alignment Planning Execution Feedback
  13. 13. Project Level Weekly Level Daily Level
  14. 14. Project Level Weekly Level Daily Level
  15. 15. Mindset Making team friends is hard @nerdneha
  16. 16. Mindset Making team friends is hard Ignore yellow flags @nerdneha
  17. 17. Mindset Making team friends is hard Ignore yellow flags We’re on the same team @nerdneha
  18. 18. SWOT: What do you bring to the table? @nerdneha
  19. 19. SWOT: What do you bring to the table? Write it down @nerdneha
  20. 20. SWOT: What do you bring to the table? Share it @nerdneha
  21. 21. What do you want? Why do you care? @nerdneha
  22. 22. What do they want? Why do they care? (Empathy) @nerdneha
  23. 23. What do they want? Why do they care? (Empathy) ¯_(ツ)_/¯ @nerdneha
  24. 24. Inception -- aligns goals and scope ● Overview & Scope ● Deadlines & Milestones ● Goals (engagement & product) & Anti-goals ● Risks & Mitigating strategies ● Team & Roles & Stakeholders ● Workflow ● Story writing & Prioritization ● Retro @nerdneha
  25. 25. Inception -- aligns goals and scope Alignment Planning Execution Feedback @nerdneha
  26. 26. Inception -- aligns goals and scope ● Overview & Scope ● Deadlines & Milestones ● Goals (engagement & product) & Anti-goals ● Risks & Mitigating strategies ● Team & Roles & Stakeholders ● Workflow ● Story writing & Prioritization ● Retro Alignment Planning Execution Feedback @nerdneha
  27. 27. Inception -- aligns goals and scope ● Overview & Scope ● Deadlines & Milestones ● Goals (engagement & product) & Anti-goals ● Risks & Mitigating strategies ● Team & Roles & Stakeholders ● Workflow ● Story writing & Prioritization ● Retro @nerdneha
  28. 28. Inceptions -- align goals and scope ● Overview & Scope ● Deadlines & Milestones ● Goals (engagement & product) & Anti-goals ● Risks & Mitigating strategies ● Team & Roles & Stakeholders ● Workflow ● Story writing & Prioritization ● Retro The moment our nay-sayers (“engineers”) have been waiting for @nerdneha
  29. 29. Facilitator’s Techniques ● Start meetings with a purpose & set scope ● Have parking lot for out of scope ● Read the room ● Breakouts & Joining ● Sticky notes & Sharing ● Checkpoints ● Summarize @nerdneha
  30. 30. Facilitator’s Techniques ● Start meetings with a purpose & set scope ● Have parking lot for out of scope ● Read the room ● Breakouts & Joining ● Sticky notes & Sharing ● Checkpoints ● Summarize; relate back to purpose @nerdneha
  31. 31. Project-level tools sets the tone for collaboration and productivity ● SWOT Analysis: what is your team’s combined profile? ● Personal Goals: what do we each want out of the project? ● Inception @nerdneha
  32. 32. Project Level Weekly Level Daily Level
  33. 33. “People are happiest when people are being productive” - Rob Mee
  34. 34. Schedule -- provides predictable template Alignment Planning Execution Feedback @nerdneha
  35. 35. Schedule -- provides predictable template Alignment Planning Execution Feedback Standups Pre-IPM IPM (WORK) Pre-CL CL Retros @nerdneha
  36. 36. Retrospectives -- circulates feedback Action Items @nerdneha
  37. 37. Retrospectives -- circulates feedback Action Items Tech Retros Parking Lot @nerdneha
  38. 38. Weekly-level tools give people a forum; a place to be heard ● Set schedule/cadence ● Provide feedback opportunities at multiple levels ● Provide “safe haven” to get work done free from scope changes ● Have a way to collect concerns and dedicated time to discuss them @nerdneha
  39. 39. Project Level Weekly Level Daily Level
  40. 40. Talk in person & record in writing -- reduces confusion Walk over to PM Pair with designer Schedule check-in Appear.in/Dedicated video Call - Batphone @nerdneha
  41. 41. Talk in person & record in writing -- reduces confusion Write into story comments Write into epics Take photos & upload Gdrive / shared folder of info @nerdneha
  42. 42. Credit: Onsi Fakhouri
  43. 43. Credit: Onsi Fakhouri
  44. 44. Credit: Onsi Fakhouri
  45. 45. Credit: Onsi Fakhouri
  46. 46. TDD + Pairing -- avoids fights Easier to agree on a test Go with the simplest implementation Red, Green, Refactor No pull requests/judgement day! @nerdneha
  47. 47. TDD + Pairing -- avoids fights Alignment Planning Execution Feedback @nerdneha
  48. 48. TDD + Pairing -- avoids fights Easier to agree on a test Go with the simplest implementation Red, Green, Refactor No pull requests/judgement day! Alignment & Planning Execution & Feedback @nerdneha
  49. 49. Daily Retros -- circulates feedback faster How do you think it went? I was concerned about ______, did you feel that way? Should we try something new next time? @nerdneha
  50. 50. Daily-level tools flush out issues early ● Talk in person ● Write down conversation/context ● Find a way to align first (ex: TDD + Pairing or discussing high-level) ● Daily retros @nerdneha
  51. 51. Project Level Weekly Level Daily Level *When things get tense
  52. 52. Think about the way you want to attack the problem first. What are the ramifications? Is it better 1:1 (sensitive) or in a meeting (group alignment)?
  53. 53. What do you want out of this conversation? Establish shared goals and shared interest. Give benefit of the doubt. Listen. Do they feel the same way? Share your side objectively (STATE): ● Share your facts ● Tell your story ● Ask for others’ paths ● Talk tentatively ● Encourage Testing Addressing the issue head-on (adapted from Crucial Conversations) @nerdneha
  54. 54. It’s not you, it’s us; squad goals To give you a toolchest of techniques to enable all personalities of your team, clients, and customers to prevent and mitigate issues as they come up with a facilitator’s mindset. @nerdneha
  55. 55. Tool chest to prevent & mitigate issues as they come up ● SWOT Analysis: what is your team’s combined profile? ● Personal Goals: what do we each want out of the project? ● Inception ● Set schedule/cadence ● Provide feedback opportunities at multiple levels ● Provide “safe haven” to get work done free from scope changes ● Have a way to collect concerns and dedicated time to discuss them ● Talk in person ● Write down conversation/context ● Find a way to align first (ex: TDD + Pairing or discussing high-level) ● Daily retros @nerdneha
  56. 56. It’s not you, it’s us: Winning over people for yourself and the team Neha Batra, Engineer at Pivotal Labs @nerdneha #s1p #springone

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