This Code Sucks — A Story About Nonviolent Communication

This Code Sucks — A Story About Nonviolent Communication

Think about something that happened at work recently. How did it make you feel? Why did it make you feel that way?

Chances are you answered those two questions poorly. Our inability to answer such questions effectively leads us to communicate in ways that are negative and unhelpful.

Let’s explore a day in the life of a fictional programmer who, just like us, means well and wants to do a great job. We’ll use our protagonist’s story to learn about how to honestly express our needs and effectively collaborate in disagreement.

Presented at Ship It! Conf 2017 and Brighton Ruby 2017.

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Nadia Odunayo

July 09, 2017
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Transcript

  1. THIS CODE SUCKS A Story About Nonviolent Communication Nadia Odunayo

    @nodunayo
  2. ALEX Senior Engineer ignition works alex@ignition.works

  3. 9.06 AM JASON

  4. 9.06 AM JASON Daily Standup

  5. JASON

  6. –Alex “You’re always late these days.” JASON

  7. 2:30 PM CHRIS

  8. Code Review 2:30 PM CHRIS

  9. CHRIS

  10. This. Code. Sucks. CHRIS

  11. This. Code. Sucks. CHRIS

  12. –Alex “Speak to Tanya. Her code is great!” CHRIS

  13. 4:45 PM PETER

  14. Planning Meeting 4:45 PM PETER

  15. PETER

  16. I expected more. PETER

  17. I expected more. It’s not my fault… PETER

  18. –Alex “I can’t afford any more delays.” PETER

  19. Alex

  20. Alex Jason

  21. Alex Jason Chris

  22. Alex Jason Chris Peter

  23. None
  24. How did it make you feel?

  25. How did it make you feel? Why did it make

    you feel that way?
  26. What did you say?

  27. Something happens

  28. Something happens

  29. Jason cancels

  30. Jason cancels

  31. None
  32. Jason made me angry by cancelling

  33. None
  34. Something is wrong with you.

  35. Something is wrong with you. Obviously.

  36. Violent Communication Something is wrong with you. Obviously.

  37. “Be kind.”

  38. “Be kind.” +

  39. None
  40. We need tangible strategies

  41. NEEDS

  42. None
  43. I need support

  44. When our needs are met, we may feel… When our

    needs are not met, we may feel…
  45. When our needs are met, we may feel… When our

    needs are not met, we may feel… ☹
  46. When our needs are met, we may feel… When our

    needs are not met, we may feel… ☹
  47. Something happens

  48. Something happens

  49. Something happens

  50. What is my need?

  51. What is my need? What might their need be?

  52. 9.06 AM JASON Daily Standup

  53. JASON

  54. JASON

  55. RESPECT? JASON

  56. EFFICACY? JASON

  57. –Alex “I feel annoyed when you miss standup because I

    was hoping the team would be clear on what they are doing as soon as the meeting is over.” JASON
  58. 2.30 PM CHRIS Code Review

  59. CHRIS

  60. CHRIS

  61. STABILITY? CHRIS

  62. NURTURING? CHRIS

  63. SAFETY? CHRIS

  64. –Alex “I was disappointed when I didn’t see any tests

    because I want confidence that our software is easily maintainable.” CHRIS
  65. 4.45 PM PETER Planning Meeting

  66. PETER

  67. PETER

  68. TRUST? PETER

  69. COMMUNICATION? PETER

  70. –Alex “I’m upset because I wanted to be able to

    rely upon your words and I was hoping to be on top of any change in circumstances.” PETER
  71. Avoid communicating judgement

  72. Start with specific observations

  73. Recognise underlying needs and communicate those

  74. TRANSPARENCY

  75. VULNERABILITY

  76. Alex Jason Chris Peter

  77. Alex Jason Chris Peter

  78. Alex Jason Chris Peter

  79. Nonviolent Communication Marshall B. Rosenberg by

  80. cnvc.org

  81. How did it make you feel?

  82. How did it make you feel? Why did it make

    you feel that way?
  83. How did it make you feel?

  84. How did it make you feel? What did you need?

  85. Thank you! Nadia Odunayo @nodunayo ignition works