Plays Well With Others: How to Stop Being a Jerk Today

Plays Well With Others: How to Stop Being a Jerk Today

Society acts as though jerks are incapable of changing their bad behavior, as though somebody called .freeze on them. We devise all kinds of strategies for avoiding or placating them, even at the expense of others' happiness.

What if it didn't have to be that way?

This talk approaches jerks as the mutable objects all people are. If you think you might be a jerk, or if you're looking for a new approach to the jerks in your life, this talk is for you! It covers what makes a jerk and what the positive alternative looks like. You'll learn a framework for defusing negative urges, holding yourself accountable, and transforming your behavior in a variety of situations, such as meetings, disagreements, or when things go wrong.

Presented at RailsConf 2019.

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Jesse Belanger

April 30, 2019
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Transcript

  1. 1.

    Plays Well with Others Plays Well with Others How to

    Stop Being a Jerk Today How to Stop Being a Jerk Today Jesse Belanger (@j_belang) Jesse Belanger (@j_belang) 1
  2. 4.

    3

  3. 5.

    4

  4. 6.

    5

  5. 7.

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  6. 10.

    And I have a confession... I've been a jerk. I

    bet I still act like a jerk sometimes. 7
  7. 11.

    And I have a confession... I've been a jerk. I

    bet I still act like a jerk sometimes. This is something I work on every day in some way. 7
  8. 12.

    What does it mean to be a jerk, anyway? What

    does it mean to be a jerk, anyway? 8
  9. 13.

    9

  10. 14.

    “An asshole is someone who leaves us feeling demeaned, de-energized,

    disrespected, and/or oppressed. In other words, someone who makes you feel like dirt.” - Robert Sutton 10
  11. 15.

    You You act act like a jerk at a specific

    moment in time. like a jerk at a specific moment in time. Whether or not you're perceived to Whether or not you're perceived to be be a jerk is the moving average of your a jerk is the moving average of your behavior over time. behavior over time. 11
  12. 16.

    Jerks are people whose patterns of behavior bring down Jerks

    are people whose patterns of behavior bring down the energy, confidence, and morale of those around them. the energy, confidence, and morale of those around them. 12
  13. 17.
  14. 18.

    Monopolizing conversations Dismissing others' opinions Being destructively critical Refusing compromise

    Throwing tantrums Hurling insults Poor listening Condescending Casting blame Interrupting Humiliating Sabotaging Yelling 14
  15. 19.

    All of those anti-patterns are All of those anti-patterns are

    optional optional reactions. reactions. 15
  16. 21.

    We know the Arrange, Act, Assert (AAA) pattern for unit

    We know the Arrange, Act, Assert (AAA) pattern for unit tests tests # Arrange rails_conf = create(:rails_conf, year: 2019) location = "Minneapolis" # Act rails_conf.update(location: location) # Assert expect(rails_conf.weather) to eq "Snow" 17
  17. 22.

    Let's try the Introspect, Interact, Iterate pattern for social Let's

    try the Introspect, Interact, Iterate pattern for social behaviors behaviors 18
  18. 36.

    Let's look at some common scenarios: Let's look at some

    common scenarios: 1. Meetings 2. Disagreements 3. Code Review 4. Mishaps 23
  19. 38.

    Meetings Meetings Introspect Introspect What's the purpose of the meeting

    and what's your role? What dysfunction do you usually bring to the table? 24
  20. 39.

    Meetings Meetings Interact Interact Listen to and build on others'

    thoughts Make room for all voices (especially marginalized voices) Introspect Introspect What's the purpose of the meeting and what's your role? What dysfunction do you usually bring to the table? 24
  21. 40.

    Meetings Meetings Iterate Iterate How do you think that meeting

    felt to others? Tried it? Track it. Introspect Introspect What's the purpose of the meeting and what's your role? What dysfunction do you usually bring to the table? Interact Interact Listen to and build on others' thoughts Make room for all voices (especially marginalized voices) 24
  22. 42.

    Disagreements Disagreements Introspect Introspect What's your gut reaction to being

    challenged? Remind yourself it's okay to be wrong Where might the opposing view be coming from? 25
  23. 43.

    Disagreements Disagreements Interact Interact Identify the problem you're trying to

    solve and what you value Find something to agree on Ask questions (and listen to the answers) Build a solution together Introspect Introspect What's your gut reaction to being challenged? Remind yourself it's okay to be wrong Where might the opposing view be coming from? 25
  24. 44.

    Disagreements Disagreements Iterate Iterate Did you lose your cool? Did

    you arrive at a solution you can commit to? Introspect Introspect What's your gut reaction to being challenged? Remind yourself it's okay to be wrong Where might the opposing view be coming from? Interact Interact Identify the problem you're trying to solve and what you value Find something to agree on Ask questions (and listen to the answers) Build a solution together 25
  25. 46.

    Code Review Code Review Introspect Introspect Why does your team

    do code review? Remember that code review is a place for learning 26
  26. 47.

    Code Review Code Review Interact Interact When giving the review:

    When giving the review: Ask questions rather than issuing commands Help to make the code better, not the exact code you'd have written When receiving the review: When receiving the review: Good suggestions are a gift Assume positive intent Introspect Introspect Why does your team do code review? Remember that code review is a place for learning 26
  27. 48.

    Code Review Code Review Iterate Iterate Don't be afraid to

    reach out IRL Introspect Introspect Why does your team do code review? Remember that code review is a place for learning Interact Interact When giving the review: When giving the review: Ask questions rather than issuing commands Help to make the code better, not the exact code you'd have written When receiving the review: When receiving the review: Good suggestions are a gift Assume positive intent 26
  28. 51.

    Mishaps Mishaps Interact Interact Focus on the facts Find a

    solution, not a scapegoat Introspect Introspect Breathe Remember that mistakes are natural and inevitable 27
  29. 52.

    Mishaps Mishaps Iterate Iterate Identify lessons learned Are you able

    to move on? Introspect Introspect Breathe Remember that mistakes are natural and inevitable Interact Interact Focus on the facts Find a solution, not a scapegoat 27
  30. 54.

    Find your direction with self-awareness Find your direction with self-awareness

    & & Power up on a genuine desire to change Power up on a genuine desire to change 29
  31. 55.

    (Peers and managers, you can create the conditions to make

    that last bit easier) (Peers and managers, you can create the conditions to make that last bit easier) 30
  32. 56.

    Then, pick one behavior and replace it with a new

    habit Then, pick one behavior and replace it with a new habit 31
  33. 57.

    Then, pick one behavior and replace it with a new

    habit Then, pick one behavior and replace it with a new habit Review this intention regularly Review this intention regularly 31
  34. 58.

    Then, pick one behavior and replace it with a new

    habit Then, pick one behavior and replace it with a new habit Review this intention regularly Review this intention regularly Identify hooks to support new behavior Identify hooks to support new behavior 31
  35. 59.

    Then, pick one behavior and replace it with a new

    habit Then, pick one behavior and replace it with a new habit Review this intention regularly Review this intention regularly Identify hooks to support new behavior Identify hooks to support new behavior Track and assess your progress Track and assess your progress 31
  36. 61.

    Get help if you need it Get help if you

    need it Solicit feedback from your peers, Solicit feedback from your peers, 32
  37. 62.

    Get help if you need it Get help if you

    need it Solicit feedback from your peers, Solicit feedback from your peers, your manager, your manager, 32
  38. 63.

    Get help if you need it Get help if you

    need it Solicit feedback from your peers, Solicit feedback from your peers, your manager, your manager, or recruit an accountabili-buddy. or recruit an accountabili-buddy. 32
  39. 65.

    Keep up the good work Keep up the good work

    Tackle the next one! Tackle the next one! 33
  40. 66.

    Keep up the good work Keep up the good work

    Tackle the next one! Tackle the next one! Stay vigilant as risk factors (especially power dynamics) change! Stay vigilant as risk factors (especially power dynamics) change! 33
  41. 67.

    Keep up the good work Keep up the good work

    Tackle the next one! Tackle the next one! Stay vigilant as risk factors (especially power dynamics) change! Stay vigilant as risk factors (especially power dynamics) change! Try it out at home! Try it out at home! 33
  42. 68.

    Keep up the good work Keep up the good work

    Tackle the next one! Tackle the next one! Stay vigilant as risk factors (especially power dynamics) change! Stay vigilant as risk factors (especially power dynamics) change! Try it out at home! Try it out at home! Teach someone else! Teach someone else! 33
  43. 70.

    Thank you! Thank you! Food for Thought: Food for Thought:

    Tools to research: Active Listening, Tools to research: Active Listening, , Four Part Apology, Five Whys , Four Part Apology, Five Whys by Tom Butler-Bowdon by Tom Butler-Bowdon by Dale Carnegie by Dale Carnegie by Jennifer Riel, Roger L Martin by Jennifer Riel, Roger L Martin by Robert Sutton by Robert Sutton Conversation Timers Conversation Timers 50 Philosophy Classics 50 Philosophy Classics How to Win Friends and Influence People How to Win Friends and Influence People Creating Great Choices Creating Great Choices The No Asshole Rule The No Asshole Rule 34