Mary Belzer README

My view on people

I believe that all people are inherently creative, and capable of much more than we think. Our differences are what allows us to work together, and they should be discussed and embraced. I also believe I can learn something from everyone—everybody is a nerd about something, and everybody has something they can talk about for hours, and that’s really cool.

I’m fascinated by how people learn and work differently. I firmly believe that we can all be working smarter, more efficiently, and with more purpose. I like helping people become more efficient, so they can spend more time focusing on their area of expertise.

Preferred learning styles

I learn by reading and doing. It’s helpful for me to see examples of successful work so I have a guiding light. I prefer to learn on my own rather than in a group, so I can take the time I need to try things and absorb as much information as possible. I like to trial-and-error my way through things so I can learn the pitfalls and know what to watch for along the way.

Communication style

I’m a very direct communicator. For most things at work, I prefer written communication so I can appropriately process information and form a thoughtful response. Brainstorming and behavioral feedback are exceptions here—in those cases, I find it helpful to meet face-to-face.

Preferred way to collaborate

I love a face-to-face brainstorming session where we can ideate and determine a path forward. I generally prefer to work “group project style”, where we define ownership of different areas of the project and come back together periodically to check in and adjust as needed. I think good collaboration requires empathy and an open mind from everyone involved.

How I approach problems

The first few things I ask:

  1. What is the impact of this problem? Does it require an immediate solution?
  2. Is this the root problem, or a symptom? I use the “5 Whys” method to drill down to the root issue. I want to make sure I’m solving the right problem.

Then, I like to plan out a short, medium and long term solution.

Preferred way to be recognized/appreciated

One-on-one thanks via Slack/Email/mention in a meeting. Also feels good to be recognized in a public forum.

Thoughts/feelings/preferences when it comes to asking for help

I like to explore on my own as much as possible first, but then I’m not shy about asking for help. My preference is to ask for help being pointed in the right direction, so I can continue learning on my own, rather than just being shown how to do something.

What I find enjoyable at work

Helping people work more efficiently, detailed and organized documentation (I am very cool!), and project planning.

What kind of work do I find easiest to do when

I prefer to have meetings with others in the first half of my day. I’m a morning person, so I’m best at face-to-face interactions then. Once I get into a heads down/flow state, I don’t like to come out of it to be “on” for a meeting. Then in the afternoon, I like to get into that heads-down state to really knock things out.

How do I feel about getting messages after/outside of hours that are meant for me to see and respond to during active hours

I set strong boundaries between my work and personal life. I don’t mind seeing messages come in off-hours, but I make it clear (via Slack status and/or direct communication) that I won’t be responding during active hours unless it’s an absolute emergency.

How folks can best show up for me when I seem off

I don’t like to admit when I’m having an off day, or I’m too tired/overwhelmed to keep up. If others notice this, it’s helpful to say “hey, you seem off, maybe take a half day/long break/something”

Things I am aware of that trigger anxious feelings/feelings of less than at work

Publicly being called out for mistakes, or someone not assuming positive intent about my actions or my work.

Areas of knowledge

Work-wise: Project planning, software development lifecycle, Lean Methodology for process improvement, Scrum, program management, product management

Life-wise: All things sewing, knitting, analog audio gear, guitar nerd stuff, audio engineering nerd stuff, music history + theory stuff.

Areas of interest to learn

Work-wise: Learning to code more, information architecture

Life-wise: flamenco guitar, hand quilting

Current personal project

A king-sized custom designed quilt

Something I fear

The ocean! It’s horrifying!

A quote I like

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” - Carl Sagan

How I eat fries

Hot sauce on everything

My enneagram

Enneagram 2: The Helper

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