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Q: Does each member in a dysfunctional team talk to each other?
A: No.

Q: Does each member in a very successful team talk to each other?
A: No.

Dysfunctional vs. Intuitive

Funny isn’t it? I’ve jotted down about a simple question gets two answers. Now I find that two questions get only an answer for the different reason.

Let’s take a look on a dysfunctional team. They don’t talk each other because (a) absence of trust and (b) fear of conflict1 .

In a successful team, each member doesn’t talk each other because, well, they know each other.

One knows the traits of the others. Successful team moving towards a share goal without efforts, perfectly timed, thinking, and breathing as one. Everything runs intuitively, no talks is needed2 .

I once was doing a huge refactoring on my code repository with a friend of mine.

It was fun, really.
We’ve spent almost two hours without talking while we’re hitting and hitting the delete buttons upon any bad-smells code and ineffective source code. We only need to look at monitor, and then look each other deep in the eyes, and knows that every native event invocation in a Distributed environment should be avoided at all cost.

We’re happily pushing the Delete button without further discussion because all reasons are perfectly understood.

Men vs. Women

Well, maybe my programming example was.. inhumane.
In spirit of Hari Kartini let’s talk about battle of sexes a bit.

A couple doesn’t talk each other because:

  • Like Roxete said : You don’t understand me, my baby’.
  • Or because Eric Martin sing I love the way you love me.

Dig my point?

Conducting a successful software development team is basically same thing as managing a relationship with women.

All we need to do is put the team as our priority (so is her happiness), introducing manageable conflicts to keep the team in a safe and connected workplace environment (so is her feelings), and give the team a balanced motivation ice breaker along with pure attention, affection, and appreciation in a constant way3 .

In other words, listen what the team/she needs.

How about men’s need?

I left the list as an exercise, to women.
Let’s see how much affection does women have.

If any :p



1 Five Dysfunctions of A Team. Read my drawing here.

2 Herding Chicken: Innovative Techniques for Project Management says there are 4 types of team: Dysfunctional, Competitive, Communicative, and Intuitive.

3 These are the essence of What Women Want Men to Know I believe.