Skip to main content

Stirring The Hearts of Your Teammates



Remember, our line has always ruled with wisdom and strength. And I know you will show restraint when exercising your great power. But the truest victory, my son, is stirring the hearts of your people. I tell you this, for when my days have come to an end, you shall be King.

In the world of agencies and corporate software development, there are ladders. These ladders place you where "they" think you belong in terms of rank, power, and responsibility. Being at the bottom of the ladder can have an impact on your teammate(s) -- They feel like they're powerless and that their actions have no overall effect on the product you're trying to build. That said, this causes a snowball effect which is poisonous and will eventually affect the rest of the team. When teammates accept the fact that they're not tightly integrated with the decisions being made, we have ourselves rogue behaviour including low quality of work, less communication, and less contributions. The most obvious answer that most people will tell me is "fire them"; however, I'll explain a few things I implement for a better, sustainable solution for your team. That is, "to inspire them".

While I am borderline focusing on a well known corporate learning disability, such as, "I am my position", I'm going to try and explain my approach to genuinely motivate and inspire my teammates to commit themselves to the same shared vision.

First thing is respecting them as a human-being through selflessness and honour. Even the smallest question, such as, 'What do you think about ____? Could we possibly try your solution but with this ____?' can have a ripple effect on how they perceive themselves as part of the team. Another strategy is to always have eye contact -- it proves to them that your attention is 100% on their opinion. Additionally, you should always give them credit when credit is due. From the smallest bug fix to refactoring a ton of groundwork, giving them praise for their effort and dedication is always required. When things are going well, genuinely let them know that the project wouldn't be successful without them being onboard. Make them know they're worth a million dollars.

Diving deeper, if their mental models are skewed in such that they don't want to contribute work that benefits the company itself; show them that his/her work is what helps the rest of the team whether or not it benefits the company or the budgets. It is very easy to be blinded by death march projects (timelines, changes, budgets, compensation). Let them know that we're all on the same boat and when you are on the battlefield, your team is all you have to finish it -- You need everyone on the front lines to push forward.

These things may seem like basic actions in social dynamics; however, they are easy to neglect. It is the frequent, small actions that have the largest overall impact at the end of the project, much like, the parable of the boiling frog. Often times we forget that we're all human-beings (we are not super heroes) and face the same category of challenges along the way. Getting to the end of the tunnel of a death march project is only possible if you inspire your team to be helpful and committed to each other.

Good luck and have fun,
Jaime Bueza

Jaime Bueza is a software developer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has developed web applications for Nintendo, Starbucks, Electronic Arts, Ritchie Brothers, Kiwi Collections, Cox Communications and Microsoft. When he's not developing useful software that constantly evolves with business requirements, he's creating tutorial videos for aspiring front-end developers.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

TextMate Tutorial: How to add a Strikethrough keybind to your Markdown bundle

Markdown is awesome for quickly generating Readme's on Github. After looking at other projects using the strike tag, I've decided to create a custom keybind for it in my TextMate Markdown bundle. Here's how:

1) Click the + sign on the bottom left and click New Command.
2) Paste this into the editbox and make sure you name your command "Strikethrough".

For the input field, select WORD in the drop down.
For the output field, select "insert as snippet".
As for the keybind, you can totally map it to whatever you're comfortable with but I chose Command-D as it is the same thing in Microsoft Word.

Cheers,
Jaime

World of Warcraft Ninjalist addon: version 0.1 coming along quite nicely

After toying around with more GUI related issues in World of Warcraft's API, I've decided to take a totally different direction. Originally when I architected this addon, I knew in my mind it would be a super simple Console application that a user could easily paste in a name and add it to the database; however, why stop there?

After discovering AceGUI, I can easily start developing UI components in no time! As of right now, I've got it saving data in between game sessions--the interesting part will come when I'll have to develop the web service that will parse the SavedVariable.lua, eliminate duplicate entries, as well as, do a huge merge between their copy and whats on the server's (per realm basis of course).

Here's a screen shot of the responses when adding new Ninjas to your list:
When a user clicks add after entering a name in the textbox, it'll go ahead and add that person to the ninjalist tagging the user's realm and current date/time. Someday, I…

Using Git Hooks: Prepare Commit Message to automatically prepend branch names on commit messages

When you're practicing branch by feature with distributed version control, typically you'll get assigned a ticket or issue and that ends up being your feature branch. Instead of always typing in the branch name in every commit, you can edit your Git hooks (specifically prepare-commit-msg).

Assuming that this is a brand new git repository:

mv .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg.sample .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg
vi .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg

Edit the file by commenting out what was originally in the file and then add this:



Now, whenever you make a commit, it should show up like this in the log:



Since GitHub and Bitbucket both support Emojis inside commit messages, you can do something cute like this



Want more emojis? check out the Emoji Mardown Cheatsheet!