Team Knowledge Leads to Team Success
As a Software Engineer at StrengthsInsight, I have the opportunity to work on all parts of our software stack, from flipping bits on a server to polishing pixels on a web page. This can be a blessing and a curse, as not all tasks are ones I would otherwise volunteer for. My engineering teammates are in the same boat – they get to work on everything, like it or not. Fortunately our team is made up of diverse personalities, and by understanding this we can use it to our advantage.
During a recent code review I found myself focusing on some minor graphical tweaks made to a page on our site. When I suggested some changes to the developer in charge, he responded by saying, “I’m pretty indifferent to these changes, so go ahead and make any changes you want and I’ll use them.”
“Does he not care about these suggestions? And why is he asking me to do his work?” A less-understanding teammate could find himself asking these questions, but I approached this differently. I happened to know that Appreciation of Beauty – a strength I associate with the graphical tweaks I was agonizing over – was one of the less important strengths of my teammate, yet it was one of my top strengths (#3, in fact). It made perfect sense that my teammate wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was about this task and I happily took it off his hands.
Not every situation works out this well (sometimes there are tasks that nobody wants!) but in this case I was able to leverage my knowledge of myself and my teammate to produce a better outcome for both of us.
Shane Arney is a Software Engineer at StrengthsInsight. Outside of work he is a podcast enthusiast, player of ultimate frisbee and huge fan of the Seattle Seahawks.
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