re: What Values You And Your Team Hold Dear? VIEW POST


My answer:

  • The most important is empathy for others. Be it users, customers, or your coworkers.
  • Don’t work with jerks. Culture is the most important, and no matter how good their technical skill is, if they repel and ruin the emotional state of others, it’ll be a substantial net loss to the team, organization, business, and the end customers.
  • Value of teamwork and collaboration over cowboy/solo/firefighter developers.
  • Honest feedback with care about the person.
  • Shorter cycle times: how long does it take from the idea to impact on business or customer.

Your turn!


How 1) and 2) are compatible?

Anyways, everybody is a jerk.

I have worked with team members that are jerks, with customers that are jerks (change requirements at whim) and with bosses that are jerks (taking credits and blaming others). Tolerance is part of the job.


How 1) and 2) are compatible?

How are they not? A jerk doesn't have much empathy for others, so they shouldn't be the first choice when it comes to working in a team that values empathetic behaviours.

How are they not? A jerk doesn't have much empathy for others

So, you are the team leader, and somebody is a jerk.

For some specific reason, you are unable to hire a new member, but you could fire him or her.

What would you do?

The answer is, of course, it depends. It depends so much on the specific situation that I don't even know where to start writing about how I would handle it, but here are a few questions I would ask myself, in no particular order.

  • Have any of their coworkers complained about their behaviour? How often?
  • Have they been given feedback on how their behaviour impacts their coworkers?
  • Is their manager actively supporting them to improve the problematic areas?
  • Have they been offered professional training/coaching to address the problematic behaviours?
  • Is everybody else being fair to them? i.e., would they complain the same if anybody else performed the same behaviour?
  • Is there any issue in the environment that's causing the unproductive behaviours?
  • Have they been located in another or several other teams and the same issues have showed up?
  • Does the issue seem to stem from an inherent trait in the offender, or a latent conflict between them and the complainer? If the latter, have we tried to resolve the conflict?
  • Is it mostly me who sees a problem with that person's behaviours, mostly others, or both?

From that list you can already guess that my first choice would not be firing them, but trying to solve the underlying issues that might be causing them to behave in a way that is disruptive for everybody else.

Yes but it's simple.

The company must have clear and precise rules and they must be managed by HR (if any) and published so everybody must know about it.

It is not as easy as to say "Rule 1: no douches!" because it's not clear what is a douche or how to not be a douche.

Second, we have an infractor (not a jerk, calling somebody a jerk is an easy way to be sued unless it is informally btw) and depending on their fault is the measure. If he or she must be fired, then it must be because he or she does something that is written down that involves being fired.

Third, a business is not a democracy (unless you are a shareholder). I have worked in A LOT of business and a lot of teams want to oust their chief. In some case, the team wants to chief out:

  • The chief hasn't broken any rule.
  • We checked it and he is fair.
  • However, he is pushy and micromanagement.
  • One of the teams with the best productivity.

We agree on that, there should be clear and accessible policies defining what behaviours are unacceptable and people shouldn't be fired on the sole basis that someone else thinks they are a jerk.

However, I think it's reasonable to summarize a team's values with be considerate, don't be a jerk, I wouldn't expect Ilona to post a dense HR document defining what it means to be a jerk in their context.

It should the defined.

Team's value. What is that?.

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