How to deal with non-technical members on a small team?

We are working on Fintech Solution— 2 members are from the bank, 2 are developers. I am a self taught developer with background in engineering, I've worked mostly in sales and business development roles. But I am struggling to communicate with team members who don't have the same depth of understanding and what it takes to build applications. Our visions are not exactly aligned with individuals who talk about billions when we haven't even defined our VP or MVP. I've built the landing page, and some API integration to prototype, on a simple AWS infrastructure. I'm a big proponent of diverse skill sets on a team even if that value is not fully realized currently at this stage. I'm considering to leave how would you approach this?


Is it possible the two bank folks are saying the same thing about you and your singular focus on the application? That you don’t have the same depth of understanding on what it takes to make money?

Diverse skillsets on a team will occasionally lead to operational disconnects because everyone brings a unique expertise to the venture. But if you’re working toward the same broad goal (not just monetary and not just the deliverable) those diverse skillsets should complement each other. Or if they don’t, you know what holes you need to fill.

Before you bolt, I would suggest that the four of you sit down and work through some basic vision and mission work. Not the overwrought touchy-feely kind, but the discussions that align you all in terms of where you want the company to go, what it needs to get there and the roles you each can play in that success.

Good luck and let me know if you need more assistance.

Answered 7 years ago

I have been in your situation plenty of times. The fact is tech and non-tech people pretty much speak different languages, so having the ability to be "bi-lingual" is very important. If you are running a fintech startup this skill is very important and I would highly suggest against avoiding it. If you want we can hop on a call and I can go into detail on my experiences and see how best you can proceed without leaving your team.

Answered 7 years ago

So they don't understand you. Because they lack your background. Because you lack theirs. Well, that's not going to change.

There's no silver bullet when it comes to communication. Listen more. Ask for feedback. Purge your explanations of technical jargon. When they state a concern, try paraphrasing it yourself and ask them whether you've understood them correctly.

If the people on your team can't communicate, then I suppose you could try bringing in somebody new – someone who CAN act as a liaison and explain everybody to everybody else. But that sounds arduous and dysfunctional. A team of 4 or 5 people ought to be able to talk to one another effectively. Maybe you guys should disband.

Answered 7 years ago

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