Monthly Review: March 2016

Loveland

How in the world did March fly by so quickly? There were a lot of areas where I fell short including some habits I was focused on. Despite those shortcomings, it was still a great month. We were able to get in a good amount of skiing as the season comes to a close. Workouts were solid. We indulged in some great food during Restaurant Week here in Denver. So many awesome things!

Full recap of habits, books, etc below!

What You Say vs. What They Hear

communication

Communication is super important within any organization, but it’s particularly vital in remote work. At Automattic, we use the phrase “Communication is oxygen.”

The take-home message—building something amazing is impossible if everyone isn’t on the same page.

Any communication is better than silence, but aspects like clarity, actionable next steps, and an understanding of how everything “fits” can take a message from mediocre to “Hell yeah…let’s do this!”

A few weeks back, I was able to catch dinner with my buddy Chuck, and we were chatting about leadership and communication. I mentioned one communication error in particular that I was trying to address—reconciling what you’re saying with what “they” are hearing. This harmony is imperative for great communication, but I/we so often walk away from a conversation thinking “Oh yeah, made that totally clear” only to revisit the same idea two weeks later and find out we’re on different pages.

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Monthly Review: February 2016

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I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

February was a fun month for several reasons. Multiple good friends came out to visit. My wife and I got several days of skiing in. We joined a CrossFit gym, which has been amazing. I was able to tackle some difficult code problems and gain confidence working in React. Drink for Pink was approved as a 501(c)3 nonprofit by the IRS. All great stuff! Full recap of goals, books, habits, etc below.

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Developing a Process for Better One on Ones

A picture detailing two people talking in a one on one conversation

As a team lead at Automattic, I have a weekly one on one meeting with everyone on my team. We’re a small team (seven total people), but it’s the top priority in my week. After all, my main responsibility is to help the team function better. A natural first step is to meet with those individuals on a regular basis and ask things like “How can I best help you?”

Initially, the chats had very little structure. As the team was first getting started, I setup 30 minute slots with everyone, and we just talked (mostly work, but anything really). Through much trial and error and after learning from colleagues, the process has evolved. Here are some of the approaches that have had the biggest impact.

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Static is the Worst Place to Be

Static

I’ve been diving into quite a pile of personal growth books over the past few weeks. The goal was to help answer the question “How can I excel professionally?”

I’m planning on compiling a master list of everything I’ve read thus far, but one commonality I’ve noticed is the emphasis on remaining fluid. I discussed my thoughts on this briefly in describing how I think about my career, but I feel it’s so darn important that I want to expound on those thoughts even further becuase of three specific reasons.

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