Treating Coworkers with Kindness

Photo by Nick Dawson

Photo by Nick Dawson

While I only worked three days this week due to the New Years holiday, it felt like a very long week.  I've been noticing areas where more humanity is needed in the workplace:

  • A developer on one team passed away over the holiday break, and it's a great loss to the organization.  It's a reminder that we are all people and should know one another beyond a cursory name and job title.  Relationships matter.
  • Someone negatively criticized a team's implementation design after team members worked over the holiday on it to meet users' needs and a short timeline.  The team was deflated by the way the criticism was delivered.  I am not ok with that.  Words matter.
  • An offsite team was perceived as trying to snowball a project manager during the holiday break, and communication to and from the team was poor as stress levels rose due to an increase in defects and challenges.  Emotions matter.

Software development is easy--it's working with people that is challenging.  And Agile places emphasis on people working well with other people.  Trust is a necessary ingredient, and a good place to start is with kindness.  Let's be kind in 2013 and give each other the benefit of the doubt, be mindful with our words, and focus on building stronger relationships.  Because it matters.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.