In uncovering better ways to solve problems, we often examine how we think. Sometimes we are even ‘too close to the experiment’ to realize that we might have missed something small or large just outside of the current scope of our attention. It is part of the implicit trust that we, as part of team, not only seek feedback, we consider it from everywhere in order to get at the best solutions. In the case where a third party is being talked about in absentia, I usually like to circle back to the person who was not present.
1) It’s much more fun to involve the person about whom you are speaking. What can I say? It’s the coach in me.
2) Whether it was good or bad, this is the same reason. It’s feedback, simple as that.
3) When it’s praise, this is reinforcement and recognition. When critical, then it’s alignment, impact, adjustment.
The critical conversations tend to be learning times for the both of us. There is also a series of books out there about having these crucial conversations. It is a chance for me to learn and individual’s thinking, reasoning, motivation, and not only how they communicate but how they interpret as well. Sharing feedback builds trust, and in larger contexts of the teams or program, brings the perception into reality and better measure the impact. Collaboration, Communication, Convergence – none of this happens without trust.
The best job on the planet is one where we can get paid by contributing both productively and creatively; while learning and growing. The productive means not only in time, but that the solution is useful, meaningful. To be creative means that I can bring something of myself, something reflective, thought provoking, unique. Any learning augments our contributions.
Zero, One or Many…
Some one had his code patterns all figured out. Zero, One or Many he would say. This method will interact with exactly none, one or many objects. As thought provoking as that is for a moment. The thinking stopped; and it is only a matter of time before the criticism of the product of that thinking will set in. How about code quality – what about the undefined or indeterminate? We should have error handling for bias path escapes. What about ‘Many’ and the sense of scale? Typically many would mean everything. The code would show it’s inflexibility when we needed to SCALE. Inclusive, exclusive, sets, limits and constraints all prove that there can be priorities when processing everything. Even security attacks exploited this with Denial of Service distractions to limited resources. The questions became different, could we limit to the first 1,000 in order to save valuable computing resources? How fast can we change to correct or improve our code?… Conway’s Law postulated that the code reflected the social structure of the organization. He could see it. Being a product of our thinking, it will reflect how rigid, or how flexible our minds are. Communication (thought interface) affects and is affected by our organization every day. How flexible, how agile will we become and how long before that shows up in our solutions?
I heard a coach once tell me of his proudest moment. His son came home from grade school and started in on his homework. He said, “You know Dad, everyone at school is always telling me WHAT to think. You taught me HOW to think”.