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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

Other Decks in Design


  1. How to Join a
    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

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  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?

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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?

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  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

    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.

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  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

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  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.

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  10. +1 646 504 1384
    [email protected]
    Thanks for your time
    and consideration.
    Please be safe.

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