Psychology and mental health issues are being discussed more now as our understanding improves. As awareness grows organisations are recognizing how the culture they create can directly impact the mental health of employees. Cognitive resources play an essential part of this and in our daily health, abuse of these resources could result in serious problems for the individual so an understanding is key. Starting with a definition, cognitive is:
Psychological processes involved in acquisition and understanding of knowledge, formation of beliefs and attitudes, and decision making and problem solving. They are distinct from emotional and volitional processes involved in wanting and intending.
Hopefully from that description we can understand how cognitive resources are used in everyday life – in and outside work! Decision making and problem solving are part of daily life. Look back on your last couple of days, you’ll probably remember exact points where you were interrupted while… Continue reading
Have you ever found an agile methodology to suit everyone? I don’t think there is one! You find people very passionate about a particular methodology who dismiss any notion of trying something different, they become very protective over which practice is used. I like people who are passionate about what they do, however there are times when we need to have an open mind for constructive thinking when looking at improvements within an organisation.
As there is no unified agile methodology it should direct our thinking away from a particular methodology and towards the organisation itself. I’ve experienced new developers join a team and immediately want to bring in practices from their previous workplace. For me this is not the right approach, I’m sure the practice worked well in the previous place but the needs of the current organisation need to be taken into account before attempting to persuade people… Continue reading
Here are a couple of resources that might be useful when transitioning from a developer role into management. I never put a plan together when I made the transition, even though I knew that management was the correct career path for me, a plan would have helped! Just visualizing progress and having more of a structured study plan can make a big difference. But, even now, as I found out, these resources are helpful for existing managers to step back and evaluate any areas that could be improved.
These resources are also be helpful if you’re unsure a management position is for you, they offer good tips to determine if the step into management is really the right one.
- First Round: This 90-day plan turns engineers into remarkable managers
This is a 90-day plan by David Loftesness, Twitter’s former Director of Engineering, that helps new managers set their priorities… Continue reading
Do you enjoy having one-on-ones? If you see them as “getting in the way” then maybe a re-think is needed on getting value out of them. One-on-ones are different from the usual meetings, you can run them how you want; they can be structured or casual conversations, they can happen around a desk or on giant bean bags, they could be short or feel like they take forever! Over time I’ve experienced almost every variety, but this post isn’t about which of these is right or wrong but about how important these meetings are. At one point in my career my manager didn’t have regular one-on-ones with me, in retrospect this wasn’t a good choice for either of us!
Teams only make progress through the work of the people so any issues can impact performance. If these issues are not visible then it can be a mystery where the problem… Continue reading
I’ve always thought of ‘Positive Thinking’ as some psychobabble that I don’t have time for! I think positive thoughts and smile at people…what more do you want! But, I have to confess, reading Harvard Business Review’s recent post – The Powerful Effect of Noticing Good Things at Work – helped me understand the impact positive memories can have on stress. It also made me think how mangers play a big part in this on those around them. Are we installing positive or negatives memories on our teams?
I’ve described the importance of observing in a manager’s role, this helps building habits of spotting anything different or new around you. Even noticing a tiniest thing could have a positive influence on someone else. Does someone have a new shirt or haircut, did someone in your team go out of there way to help someone else, or did someone pro-actively make… Continue reading
When I first became a manager I didn’t think too much of it, it was the right career progression for me. I’ve had a variety of managers throughout my career and felt ready to give it a try…“bring it on” I thought! I jumped straight into line management duties on top of other team leading work without thinking much about what the actual role should involve. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact a management role has!
Some days you never get going, inundated with requests (holidays, sick days, doctors, dentists, sick children, no show nannies, lost dogs, dead cats, plumbers, house moves, broken laptops…etc., etc!), it can be relentless at times. But this is all ‘stuff’ a manager needs to handle in an appropriate way to keep everything moving. It can be emotionally draining and usually impacts the work we need to do!
There’s plenty of books… Continue reading