2016 Conference Management & Professional Development

“That. Is. Not. My. Job.”: @robin2go on Why Teamwork Matters

Robin Smail is the UX renegade inspiration you never knew you always needed.

In her “That Is Not My Job” talk, she addressed taking “crappy work situations” and how you can go from “just watching the clock” and always knowing where you manager is (and where he or she isn’t) and…

Being in unhealthy work situations can make employees feel trapped; it’s not always about the job description when emotions get involved. Robin used the comparison to effective salespeople who take the time to grok you rather than jumping down your throat. She quotes Daniel Kahneman, Nobel-winning psychologist: “People would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if that person is offering a better product at a lower price.”

In order to get someone to participate, we need to address the human emotional component — the “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me) component — and understand that there’s a human element to work: “You are 60% more likely to get promoted in a year where you regularly help your co-workers.” (Michelle Gielan, Broadcasting Happiness)

Robin talked about how hard work and using your strengths to help the team raises the bar for everyone; without your effort, focus, talent, and growth, the team won’t accomplish its mission. Your skills are necessary in the team context whether it’s part of your job description or not. Be team-based, not ego-based, and you’ll find yourself making a difference.

Using Hamilton as a base for her presentation, Robin talked about how sharing the positive energy infectiously enhances the mood, morale, and performance of your team — and that similarly, negativity can be toxic. Ask yourself: If your work environment is poisoned, are you contributing to that or trying to make things better?

Robin noted that a team that has a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative input will be higher-performing than teams with negative interactions. Prise more — encourage more — recognize more — “talk less, smile more!”

Great teams push, challenge, and stretch each other to the be their best — but only if you’ve built trust and a relationship. Tough love works when love comes first.

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