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How to join a team

How to join a team

Whether you’re coming into an existing structure, starting with yourself as the first person in the group, or something else altogether — there are a number of ways to get yourself, your team, and your organization all on the happy path.

A panel proposal for SXSW 2021 with Meghan Byrnes-Borderan, Ivis Mas, Jackie Velasquez-Ross, and myself.

Vote by 20 Nov to make this panel a reality: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/111591

Skipper Chong Warson

October 17, 2020

More Decks by Skipper Chong Warson

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  1. How to Join a Team Meghan Byrnes-Borderan — Head of

    Design for CapCo Ivis Mas — Head of Design for OnDeck Jackie Velasquez-Ross — Senior Recruiter for InVision Skipper Chong Warson — Design Director for Shep and 
 Host of How This Works 17 Oct 2020 SXSW panel proposal 2021
  2. We are in the midst of a huge change and

    shift in terms of how we live and we work. What’s going to happen on the other end, we have no idea. For many of us, it’s a kind of alien landscape for those of us who are lucky enough to have work. In the next room, we might have kids doing “remote” school. It might even be the same room. Work is happening in our home space, home is happening in our work space. Days are full of video meetings and emails/ messages at all hours. How do we help support our coworkers, teams, and ourselves to do our best work? 2
  3. Whether you’re coming into an existing structure, starting with yourself

    as the first person in the group, or something else altogether — there are a number of ways to get yourself, your team, and your organization all on the same foot. 3
  4. 4 Start with values Every group has their own system

    of values — whether they’re published or not. How does gravity work in this world? Does it make doing our jobs easier or harder? Is there a set of shared values for the group you’re in? Is there a set of values for the larger organization? Do they jive with each other? Each person who works there has their own founded experiences that are valid and real. How do people feel about the group values? Are these values for which everyone subscribes? If not, what are the right agreements for the group? If you’re starting from scratch, it goes differently but keeps a lot of the same things in mind.
  5. 5 Align to those values What good is it to

    have values if they’re just empty words written on the wall in the lobby? Values are not black and white. They’re not simple. They are nuanced, subtle, and relative. Value trade-offs happen in the context of our relationships and often as we navigate our shared work. It’s true that values are emotionally driven. And therefore, when people in your organization are not aligned in their core values, things can spiral quickly. Be patient and iterate. Keep moving.
  6. 6 Invite people in How you hire and grow a

    team is like having good ingredients to start a recipe. And middling apples will never make an apple pie the way your uncle Kim used to make it. People are created equal, but we’re not the same. For example, let’s take one of your coworkers who’s a parent — that’s part of who they are. And that person should be held to the same standards as everyone else on the team while also making it clear that they can leave early to pick their child up. That part of who they are shouldn’t hold them back from opportunities at work. Is there also a way to not penalize someone who is not a family person if they need to leave for personal reasons? Is there a larger conversation about seeing each other as humans first and therefore having needs as a result?
  7. 7 Meet them where they are Start fun, start light,

    but start somewhere. Getting to know a new group of people is always awkward and you don't need to lock yourself in with your coworkers in a panic room to build camaraderie either. It doesn't happen all at once. Take it slowly, anything worth building takes time and care. If they love Simpsons’ personality quizzes, start there. If they're super into problem solving exercises, go there with them. Each person’s race, sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, physical ability, and religious practices affords them different levels of access and privilege. They are a whole person. You are a whole person. So meet them where they’re at.
  8. 8 Sit in the tension Understanding is the first step.

    And this only happens when you listen and empathize. Spend time asking about what's working and what isn't. Come up with a plan of action together. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. The goal is to have a clear, honest, and transparent view of what working at the organization is like from those on the ground — positive, negative, or indifferent. So when listening, really listen. And listen hard. Superficial listening is a sign that you don't care and that your company doesn't care about their people.
  9. 9 Be the keystone A rising tide might raise all

    ships but a sinking wave also lowers the ships too. What do people want to learn? Where do they see themselves in two years? Rise an individual’s goals up along where the organization or group expects them to be to meet somewhere in the middle. This won’t be a straight line but it will be a collaboration of interests. As leaders, we are the bottom of the pyramid, supporting our team, not the other way around.