Have you ever taken one of those work style personality tests? I am finishing up my graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, so I”ve done countless personality style inventories, team building surveys, and communication style quizzes. One thing students in counseling/therapy programs are taught is to critically analyze relationships and interpersonal dynamics. We are taught to identify mechanisms that are maladaptive and determine the best kinds of solutions for the personalities involved. This makes working on a team very VERY difficult. I have to be very intentional to not analyze people, their communication style, or start doling out advice on how to improve function. Even before I earned my degree in Psychology I was always the over analytical type.
This characteristic can make being the new person on a team a nerve racking experience. So when I got the call from Courtney letting me know that she wanted me to be her right hand lady for launching SoFab”s first conference I was so nervous. Was I going to be critiqued and sized up by the other team members? Would they dislike me because they”d all worked together so long and I was the outsider? Would people want to see me fail?
I had nothing to worry about. I was welcomed with open arms. Every single person on the team has treated me with respect, kindness, and taken the time to get to know my unique working style. More than anything else, when I turned my analytical eye on the inner workings of Collective Bias (I couldn”t help myself, y”all!) and the Social Fabric team I was extremely surprised. What I found when I put on my therapist hat was an extremely functional and collaborative work environment. Here are some unique and powerful aspects of what makes working on the Collective Bias team amazing:
1. Excellent work environment
It is one thing to have fancy offices and great snacks in the break room, it is a whole other thing to build environment with people. PEOPLE make up the work environment. CB is very selective about the people they bring on to work for them, resulting in a well balanced personality representation. The Collective Bias work environment is a good mix of laid back and focused.
2. CB culture encourages each team member the space to be invested in the success of the company.
When I signed on work with CB I immediately felt encouraged to be invested in the overall success of Collective Bias. Why and How? Collective Bias” team accomplished this by supporting my endeavors and treating me as if I”d been a part of the team since day one. One team mate asked me, “what can I do to help you be successful.” They invested in me first. This kind of attitude builds cohesion and appeals to each person”s sense of belonging. I want to give because I”ve been given to… this is what helps a company succeed from bottom to top.
3. Safe growing environment
We all have learning to do. One thing that can threaten the functionality of team is when someone has a growth area and instead of being supported and helped to excel, that person is torn down and criticized. When too much pressure without encouragement exists, people feel deflated. CB creates the kind of environment where it is safe to say, “I don”t know.” My team members, when they sensed I was confused about an objective, have come beside me and given me examples of what they were wanting. This helped me further my skills and feel safe to learn.
4. Clear expectations
The best teams say what they mean and mean what they say! If you”ve even been on a team where you feel like you”d be best served as a psychic, you know what I am talking about. Working with the SoFabCon planning team has been excellent because I”ve always gotten very clear guidelines on what was expected from me.
5. Stand for something
It can be easy for companies to become only about the bottom line. Being about the bottom line, profit, isn”t bad… but it is important to balance that with something more. Collective Bias” something more are people and relationships. When their bloggers are sick, they send flowers. When their employees accomplish a personal goal, they celebrate. From the highest level of leadership to the new entries, Collective Bias, emphasizes connection, community, and authentic relationships.
All THAT is why SoFabCon will be amazing.
SoFabCon will be amazing because the people who are building this conference are authentically connected people who care about what they do. They are passionate about doing good work, growing, and challenging creative and professional growth.
Working with this team has been a dream!
Jasmine is a chronic freelancer who loves people and loves to multi task. She has an addiction to all things social media and is a student of human behavior. Jasmine is a mom of three, graduate student, small business social media strategist, and blogger. Read Jasmine”s rants at JustJasmineBlog.com, follow her on Twitter, or be a fan on Facebook.