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Blog Index

Serendipitous Collaboration in Unlikely Places

December 30, 2020
lego-minifigs-looking-away
A little over a month ago I joined a shameless self-promotion channel in a Slack group to get notifications of colleague's blog posts and occasionally share my own. I expected it to serve as a means of constraining the firehose of information to alert me about new things I cared about. It has achieved that goal, but has morphed into something well beyond that. This group has become a safe place for people to share ideas and be vulnerable about unfinished concepts. We continue to grow and learn together, spring boarding ideas off of each other and providing alternative perspectives. It's also a place where people have great conversations about each other's ideas, celebrate and support each other's work, and regularly provide follow on posts…
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Embarking on the Year of Creation

December 29, 2020
dandelion-seed-distribution
This past year I embraced the idea of creating a theme for the year. Themes are more robust than goals or resolutions, because they allow for adaptation in the face of unknown factors. The ability to adapt in the midst of a global pandemic helped my own well being. My theme for 2020 was the "Year of new"; I wanted to focus on trying new things. Over the course of the year, I experienced many growth opportunities. I gave a talk on Declarative and Manageable State Management with XState at my first virtual conference, found a form of exercise I enjoy, and most recently have been re-imagining my note-taking and writing process. I could not have guessed that I would have done any of these at the start of the year. However, the yearly theme…
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Community Influence when Building a Habit

December 23, 2020
together-we-create
Trying to build or change habits is challenging work. There's a reason that many books have been written about the topic. One thing that cannot be overestimated in value is the impact a community can have in this process. Finding a community of like minded individuals can help overcome the initial inertia of habit formation as well as sustain momentum. They are there to celebrate victories together and hear through the struggles. Engaged communities can check in with you in earnest to see how you are progressing towards your goals. Lately I have been rediscovering my passion for writing and attribute overcoming the initial friction to a group of friends. They were already writing frequently and sharing their content in a group chat. I'd…
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High Notification Rates and Psychological Safety: Decreasing the Learning Curve

December 22, 2020
vintage-telephones
Last week my colleague, Mike Crittenden, wrote a post on how good teams are noisy. In it he discusses the concept of successful teams having high notification rates and tangible benefits he has observed. Interestingly enough, last week also brought a tangible example of how high notification rates and psychological safety can help reduce the learning curve. What are Notifications? On July 10, 1989 United Airlines flight 232 experienced a catastrophic engine failure at altitude disabling the pilots' ability to control the plane. In conjunction with a pilot trainer who was seated in first class, the two pilots were able to conduct an emergency crash landing with 185 survivors. Conversely, in each of the National Transportation Safety Board 2…
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You Can't Have Empathy without Active Listening

December 15, 2020
watch-listen-reflect-bench
Dr Carl Marci explored how people connect in active listening relationships. His research indicated empathically displaying understanding in relationships is key to creating connections and increasing the perceived closeness between individuals. Marci says, "It’s very hard to be empathic when you’re talking. Talking is really complicated, because you’re thinking and planning what you’re going to say, and you tend to get stuck in your own head. But not when you’re listening. When you’re really listening, you lose time. There’s no sense of yourself, because it’s not about you. It’s all about this task—to connect completely to that person." It's easy to get sucked into the cycle of making our thoughts known. Many meetings expose this pattern…
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