J3’s 3V’s

Value. Validation. Victory.

Writing & releasing strong, resilient, fault-tolerant, production-quality software (for the entire world to use) – with dynamic teams of contributors over many months & years – is all about banking trust, typically through an unlimited number of positive interactions.

Trust is really important (in teams) to quickly unjam people who are stuck in a misunderstanding, disagreement, or perspective problem. Someone needs to be able to say: “it’s alright; we’ll figure it out; just trust me” and then everyone needs to actually mostly believe that to be true.

At a broad minimum, the only way(s) to make people trust you (when they don’t necessarily agree with you) is to put your energy into making sure that they feel valued, validated, and victorious.

(Relatedly, if you’ve built up enough mutual trust, you are able to genuinely confide in one-another to have healthy & productive discussions even when the work is not going as planned, or is getting stressful, etc… and this is, I think, the best part of all.)

Value, to me, often means treating everyone equally, equitably; reinforcing their strengths; and recognizing (and adapting to) their ups & downs.

Validation, to me, means letting people know when you agree with them, telling them you understand them, ensuring they are properly credited for their ideas & contributions, and defending them from the valor stealers.

Victory, to me, always means success: small & big, over & over. Confidence can be contagious. When everyone feels good, everyone feels better, and better, and better.

…and if you haven’t been a person handing out V’s, it’s not likely people will trust you enough to listen to your perspective or advice, even if you’re right and even if they know it.

(There’s this one time I was having a spat with someone on Twitter, and an old boss/friend DMed me and said “dude you are running real hot right now; probably time to take a break” and I knew they were right, and I regret not trusting them there & then, when I would have trusted them years prior.)

Anyways; what’re’ur thoughts?