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Better Sharing

Posted on:April 29, 2021 at 12:13 PM

Better Sharing

I’ve been noticing things that make me unnecessarily happy lately. Like walking into a public restroom to find it completely empty, wearing brand new socks and underwear, or hearing the uncontrollable laughter of my one year old baby followed by hiccups.

I’ve also been noticing things that make me unnecessarily frustrated. Upon reflection, I find these are usually things I’m guilty of myself so it doesn’t make much sense to be aggravated, and yet I am.

Surface Area of Information

One case of this is how those I work with communicate. When I hear about something really late in the process or I’m not invited to a meeting that I would have found really interesting or even feel I needed to be in I get those bad feels. I generally wish my manager would relay much more information from the meetings he’s in, but I understand summarizing to get the right message across while balancing protecting from distractions or information overload is a difficult task.

The behavior I’d like to see change is more reflection in the moment to consider how to increase the surface area for critical decisions and general information. For example, assign a scribe to take good notes and post them in the right channels. Record meetings and know that they’re recorded, this not only lets others attend the meeting on their own time, it helps focus the meeting in the moment, allows you to only invite the critical people who need to be there real-time, and allows others (like me) to watch in 1.5x speed and skip around later to get the gist. Taking this one step further, there’s some good software out there to transcribe meetings in real-time. The tech is not perfect here especially for tech jargon so this would require a bit of extra effort to review but would be awesome for accessibility.

On top of these pragmatic practices, I think a shift in culture/mindset is what I’d most like to see. Take to heart the idea that we are not sharing enough and not sharing effectively.

Be the change.

I can’t change other, but I can change myself. Tackling this problem I think, what if I collected critical information throughout the day, refined and filtered that content, then presented it each morning on our daily team standup? Gossip is a powerful human ability, maybe I frame it as gossip?

This definitely goes beyond the technical definition of what belongs in standup and it would need to conform to the meeting time limits, but I think it’s worth a try. Who knows, by being an example others might just follow suit.

I’ll give it a try and report back here in a few