Guide to Working with Dalton

collaboration-at-work

About me

I’m a Partner Manager at Builtfirst where I manage relationships with SaaS partners like HubSpot, Zendesk, Brex & more. I participated in (& organized a meetup for) a startup apprenticeship program, Praxis.

You can find me at a park playing sports, a concert, or wine tasting.

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Inspiration

This guide to working with me is inspired by High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil. It advises you on how to grow a startup from early-stage to a blossoming company. 

It’s available completely available online for free, check it out here. And check out their template, A Guide to Working with Claire (former COO of Stripe).

I encourage everyone working at a startup to have a guide like this to have an easy, non-confrontational way to learn about communication preferences. This helps prevent unnecessary frustration with those you work with.

My work philosophy/style

I’m a passionate worker that’s prone to distraction. My work is always done with a purpose behind it. Otherwise, I lose interest extremely quickly. It’s common for me to switch very efficiently between tasks, only getting stuck when a task requires creativity or getting caught in a discussion.

Some of my goals are:

  • Achieving measurable results that directly impact the business’s success
  • Maximizing personal efficiency and autonomy through prioritization and scheduling
  • Laying foundations for others to re-create my work
  • Coaching/advising on business fundamentals
  • Documenting my work and what I’ve learned from it

My vision is ultimately to grow an early-stage startup to hundreds of employees.

My Strengths

I’m an independent, resourceful worker that’s able to make decisions and inferences when the path forward is unclear.

If we’re working together, my priority is to ensure we’re 100% on the same page to avoid wasting each other’s time.

I’m fairly consistent and can re-create results (the longer without practice, the longer it takes). I can also communicate my approach to others hoping to accomplish the same result.

Communication

I’ll be honest – it can be difficult to communicate with me at times. During times of focus, I prefer to avoid small talk or discussion outside of the matter at hand. Otherwise, my mind will shift to being conversational and it will be difficult to refocus. Relevant short conversations provide me stimulation and motivation, but it’s impossible to predict which is which. So if I don’t respond right away, it’s because I’m attempting to bury my head in the sand and not get distracted. I won’t expect you to respond to my messages immediately, either.

That being said, discussions around strategy and processing new information are extremely helpful and greatly increase my efficiency. 

Here’s how I like to utilize each form of communication:

  • Meetings: Troubleshooting, strategy, discussions longer than a few minutes, feedback, working together on a task
  • Phone call: Can either be a formal meeting or informal conversation
  • Informal conversations: Quick updates or questions relevant to the work at hand, nothing else unless on break.
  • Slack/Email/Comment: Medium or low-priority questions or updates, rarely time-sensitive. I often send a Slack message and move on to something else rather than wait for an answer
  • Text: Very informal and time-insensitive

When time isn’t of the essence, I enjoy getting to know my team personally, especially if we find any professional or personal alignment. Did you just eat, watch, read, listen, or create something amazing? I’ll definitely want to hear about it.

I particularly value these qualities in the people I work with:

  • Mutual respect of goals, priorities, and communication styles
  • Independence of thought
  • Problem-solving ability, especially in conversation

Feedback

Here are my preferences in giving and receiving feedback:

  • In-person or direct conversation where possible to prevent misunderstandings that are far too common over text
  • I prefer clarity, so I’ll often ask questions to learn more about why/how I can improve
  • Purposeful and thought out. Suggesting a minute improvement takes away from more impactful adjustments. For example, weekly low-priority feedback allows for several days for the other person to self-correct or establish a measurable pattern that requires improvement
  • While always open to feedback, sometimes I prefer to “play out” a scenario to solidify results. There isn’t always time to make mistakes, but I prefer the independence to learn lessons of my own accord wherever possible. I’m also flexible if that’s not an option.

Pet Peeves

  • Irrelevant conversations in rare times of focus – I will completely lose focus and switch my focus to our conversation. This causes stress when I need to refocus on what I’m doing
  • Contradictions in meetings (especially sales meetings) make me feel insecure in terms of clarity with others involved. Time should be spent post-meeting to clarify any misunderstandings or provide feedback 
  • Assuming the worst when I bring you a problem. If I present you with a question or problem, it’s typically because I’m in the middle of problem-solving and already have potential solutions. While I appreciate consolation, I try to be clear when I’m just venting, but generally, I’d love if you proposed ideas or potential solutions

Weekends

Don’t expect much from me on the weekends. It’s my time to unwind and come back focused and ready to work on Monday. If I promise something over the weekend, it’s a 50/50 it will actually happen.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, let me know!

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