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Building Compassionate Software

Ash Furrow
December 12, 2016

Building Compassionate Software

Ash Furrow

December 12, 2016

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  1. Agenda 1. Feelings matter. 2. Teams with psychological safety perform

    better. 3. Implementing psychological safety on your team.
  2. Empathy • Seeing the world as others see it. •

    Recognizing and understanding another’s feelings. • Staying non-judgemental. • Communicating that you understand.
  3. The belief that one will not be punished or humiliated

    for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes. Psychological Safety:
  4. Project Aristotle • Five-year study of team dynamics at Google.

    • Goal: find predictor of high-performing teams. • Conclusion: psychological safety correlates with performance.
  5. Psychological Safety • Important that developers feel able to ask

    questions, raise concerns. • Especially necessary in small, resource-constrained teams.
  6. Measuring • Psychological safety is observed in groups as two

    behaviours: • Conversational turn-taking. • Average emotional sensitivity.
  7. Role Modelling • Admit fallibility. • Frame all work as

    learning experiences. • Model curiosity.
  8. Other Good Ideas • Small talk at the beginning of

    meetings. • Watch out for people getting interrupted in meetings. • Don’t push for immediate feedback. • Allow space to revisit discussions. • Practice empathy: reflect on meetings, focus on peers’ feelings.
  9. Boring Good Ideas • Schedule recurring appointments to review your

    week. • Block off time immediately following meetings to reflect.
  10. Wrap Up 1. Feelings matter, science says so. 2. High

    psychological safety correlates with performance. 3. Operationalizing psychological safety is hard but worth it.