Psychological safety at the workplace comes with tradeoffs.

Where should you draw the line between making it safe about their performance, while still requiring people to meet expectations? Slava and I grappled with this dilemma, and he offered a resolution:

"Forgive mistakes, be ruthless about patterns"

The full conversation is on Forgive and forget? - Episode 36 of the Nonintuitive Bits podcast

Time zone madness part 2: Last week's list of time zone misconceptions has doubled in size. I've written about all twenty one of them here and explained why each one is false in Falsehoods programmers believe about time zones

Survey results: Last week I asked if you have a 5 year plan. Here were your responses:

  • Yes: 28%
  • No: 55%
  • Selected both 'Yes' and 'No': 17%

I think that third category were the folks who really wanted to know how the voting system was setup, lol

Your nuggets for the week:

  1. Enhanced weekly status updates
  2. Vet the company before you join
  3. What does independent thinking look like?

#1 Status Updates 2.0

A few weeks ago I suggested telling your manager what you did that week. Calvin French-Owen takes it to the next level

He recommends expanding the audience to other stake holders and adding a fun tidbit to that newsletter, such as including something you're learning

I see a couple potential benefits of this approach:

  • Folks are more excited to see your newsletter
  • It's an opportunity for people to better understand how you think, which creates trust

As Patty Azzarello said in Rise:

"Share your regular updates with your peers and boss too. Your excellent updates will get forwarded around, and through your consistency, your sharing, and your presence as a leader, you will create huge amounts of trust"

I'll admit there might be some confirmation bias in me liking this approach, since that's basically what I'm doing with this newsletter 😉

#2 Vet Companies before you join

Will Larson cautions engineers to be careful about which companies they join.

Different companies value different traits, and it pays to make sure you join one which values yours.

#3 What does independent thinking look like?

Paul Graham offers a litmus test. The test isn't perfect, but it's a good rule of thumb:

Your Turn 👊

Time to practice some critical reading

Can you spot any scenarios where Paul Graham's litmus test would fail?

Reply back and share your thoughts. I respond to every message

Till next week