I just had my 1-month anniversary. The new job feels…. normal 🤷‍♀️ It’s 1:1s and sensemaking (dot-connecting, aligning, stortytelling) and gently holding and sharing and developing opinions about how people should collaborate in the worksplace and engineering the infrastructure that supports that. I dunno, given that I’m still working from home, it’s all still people stuff just different people. One of those Boasian “variations within groups are greater than variations between groups” things. People are great!

Something I’m inspired by

I’ve observed a lot of reinforcement of goals and values. I’ve been impressed seeing my team jump on an issue and not just say “I can help” but also “Our team’s purpose is to help.” Or seeing my Director hop in a comment and not just say “Great work” but also “This is a great example of our group’s charter”.

I think the majority of the feedback a manager should be giving is shining a spotlight on the things someone is already doing that are good and meaningful, and I’ve been inspired to see that in action from others.

Something I’m thinking about

I’ve been working through Lara Hogan’s “Questions for our first 1:1”, which is part of my personal manager runbook.

The question “How do you prefer to receive recognition?” gets spicy answers! I’m managing a very high level team and the answers closely line up with my own high-level friends and high-level former coworkers and myself: people are uncomfortable with recognition.

Which is… a not unreasonable reaction. In the words of a close friend “This is total shit, but… thanks, I’m glad you like it.” When I think about my own reaction, I attribute it to navigating a lot of intersecting supremacy cultures (conscious and unconscious) which are complicated: perfectionism, humbleness, honest practice, a desire to recognize all contributors (which has its own recursive sympathy).

I get it. I think about how much self-work I’ve done in my own life to reply to “I like your X” with simply “Thanks!” (and not “oh, and I like your..” or “oh, it’s not that great”).

What’s next

Two quarterly activities are upcoming that I’m excited to be organizing for the first time: engineering rotations and OKR setting. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot.