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kme : teamwork   22

Building a psychologically safe workplace | Amy Edmondson | TEDxHGSE - YouTube | https://www.youtube.com/
Psychological safety is a belief (in fact it's expected) that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, conerns, or mistakes.
workplace  leadership  management  teambuilding  teamwork  teams  video 
july 2019 by kme
The Biases That Punish Racially Diverse Teams | https://hbr.org/
One possibility for this failure is that the purported benefits of diversity are more hype than reality, but that’s unlikely given the ample research that speaks against this claim. Racially diverse groups of jurors exchange a wider range of information during deliberations than racially homogeneous groups, for example. Diverse groups of traders are less likely to make inaccurate judgments when trading stocks. Gender diversity in top management teams improves firm performance, especially when innovation is a strategic focus. And our own past research helped establish the fact that the mere presence of diversity can lead groups to work harder, share unique perspectives, be more open to new ideas, and perform better, especially when groups need to share information and resolve differences of opinion.

The findings were striking. When reading a transcript with pictures revealing the group’s composition, racially diverse teams were perceived as having more relationship conflict than homogeneous ones. And they were less likely to receive additional resources because of these biased perceptions of conflict — even though the objective content of the group interaction was exactly the same.

Diverse groups were perceived as having more relationship conflict, and because of this, financial resources were less likely to be given to them than to homogeneous groups. The diverse groups were handicapped, potentially derailing future success.

So what can organizations do to combat this bias against diverse groups? At a basic level, an important first step is to cultivate an awareness of this bias in those responsible for evaluating diverse teams. [...]

Second, managers should rely upon clear standards of performance set before — not during — group observation instead of making performance and resource determinations in the middle of the process. [...]

Finally, a little advice for the diverse teams themselves: You have to play offense and ensure that managers see and value when things are going smoothly on the team.
teamwork  collaboration  diversity  multiculturalism  bias  racialbais  management 
december 2018 by kme
Diverse Teams Feel Less Comfortable — and That’s Why They Perform Better | https://hbr.org/
Via: "To Pair or Not to Pair: Pair Programming" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_eZ-ae2FY8
With so much at stake, why aren’t these companies making more headway? One reason could be that, despite the evidence about their results, homogenous teams just feel more effective. In addition, people believe that diverse teams breed greater conflict than they actually do. Bringing these biases to light may enable ways to combat them.
After collectively naming their suspect, members individually rated aspects of the discussion. More diverse groups — those joined by someone from outside their own fraternity or sorority — judged the team interactions to be less effective than did groups joined by insiders. They were also less confident in their final decisions.

Intuitively, this makes sense: On a homogenous team, people readily understand each other and collaboration flows smoothly, giving the sensation of progress. Dealing with outsiders causes friction, which feels counterproductive.

But in this case their judgments were starkly wrong. Among groups where all three original members didn’t already know the correct answer, adding an outsider versus an insider actually doubled their chance of arriving at the correct solution, from 29% to 60%. The work felt harder, but the outcomes were better.

In fact, working on diverse teams produces better outcomes precisely because it’s harder.
This idea goes against many people’s intuitions. There’s a common bias that psychologists call the fluency heuristic: We prefer information that is processed more easily, or fluently, judging it to be truer or more beautiful. The effect partially explains that we gain greater appreciation of songs or paintings when they become familiar because they’re more easily processed. The fluency heuristic leads many people to study incorrectly; they often simply reread the material. The information becomes more familiar without much effort, and so they feel that they’re learning. But in a 2011 study students performed better on a test after studying the text once and then trying to recall as much as they could, a strenuous task, than they did by repeatedly going over the text, even though they predicted that rereading was the key to learning. Similarly, confronting opinions you disagree with might not seem like the quickest path to getting things done, but working in groups can be like studying (or exercising): no pain, no gain.
In one study MBA students were asked to imagine that they were comanaging several four-person teams of interns, and that one team had asked for additional resources. They saw photos of the members, depicting four white men, four black men, or two of each. They then read a transcript of a discussion among the group and rated the team on various factors. Teams of four white men and four black men were seen as having equal levels of relationship conflict, but the diverse teams were seen as having more relationship conflict than the homogeneous teams, even though everyone had read the same transcript.
For example, research suggests that when people with different perspectives are brought together, people may seek to gloss over those differences in the interest of group harmony — when, in fact, differences should actually be taken seriously and highlighted. In a 2012 study teams of three were tasked with generating a creative business plan for a theater. On some teams, members were assigned distinct roles (Artistic, Event, and Finance Manager), thus increasing diversity of viewpoints. These teams came up with better ideas than homogeneous teams — but only if they’d been explicitly told to try to take the perspectives of their teammates. They had to face up to their differences in order to benefit from them.
Another way to take advantage of differing viewpoints is to highlight the value of multiculturalism. One 2009 study looked at support for multiculturalism versus colorblindness in nearly 4,000 employees in 18 work units at a large U.S. health care firm. The more that workers agreed that “employees should recognize and celebrate racial and ethnic differences” and the more they disagreed that “employees should downplay their racial and ethnic differences,” the more that minorities in those units reported feeling engaged in their work. In another 2009 study, pairs of students, one white and one Aboriginal Canadian, were teamed up for a conversation. Prefacing the meeting with a message supporting multiculturalism (versus no message) made the meeting more positive, while a message endorsing colorblindness led whites to turn negative toward their minority partners.
teamwork  diversity  cognitivebias  bias  pairing  pairprogramming  groupthink  fluencyheuristic  nopainnogain  multiculturalism 
december 2018 by kme
To Pair or Not to Pair: Pair Programming - YouTube | https://www.youtube.com/
Lady's from ThoughtWorks (https://www.thoughtworks.com/), and if that's sounds familiar, that's because they're the Selenium and GoCD people.

Benefits mentioned in the video:
1. knowledge sharing (1 + 1 > 2)
2. combines two modes of thinking: tactical (driver: local optimization), strategic (navigator: big picture)
3. reflection (on the story, value-added, effectiveness vs. # of LOC)
4. helps coder / team focus; discipline around structure of code, strategy, explain and justify choices, avoid rabbit holes
5. "I get more programming productivity" out of reducing time that I'm stuck than from increasing my speed when I'm not stuck."
6. helps practice "true" CI--code review on-the-go; more collective code ownership; >> trunk-based development

Tips:
1. don't do it for 8 hours a day
2. take breaks; it's exhausting
3. even skill levels
4. share feedback (I don't like it when ...), exchange READMEs
5. "the shame of pair programming"; requires vulnerability

Homogeneous teams feel easier, but easy is bad for performance. (ref: https://hbr.org/2016/09/diverse-teams-feel-less-comfortable-and-thats-why-they-perform-better)

The authors are saying that this idea goes against many people's intuition, and often if there's something counter-intuitive, there's a cognitive bias hidden away somewhere, right?

And the one that they're mentioning here is the "fluency heuristic," which says that we prefer information that is more easily processed, and if it's easily-processed, we think that it's more true, more right, more beautiful, and that serves us very well in a lot of situations in software development. We want readable code, easily-processable things. But I don't think that it serves us well if we think that's why we're not doing pair programming.

So, pairing feels hard, but that doesn't mean that it's not good for performance, and also it doesn't have to stay hard.

Ways to make it easier (reduce friction, conflict, anxiety):
1. get the talking going
2. active listening
3. friendly feedback
4. answer why

See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S92vVAEofes
agile  cs  programming  pairing  pairprogramming  teamwork  collaboration  communication  conference  talk  video 
december 2018 by kme
Google's Unwritten Rule for Team Collaboration | http://blog.idonethis.com/
That social code was tacitly agreed upon, and usually instituted by the managers: the most collaborative teams, even if they have a single leader or moderator, were ones where everyone spoke equally.

This fact wasn’t written down anywhere, or decided upon by management. The teams themselves didn’t even notice they were doing it. But researchers recognized that less successful teams were the ones where a manager spoke 80% of the time or more. In successful collaborative teams, everyone engaged in “conversational turn-taking”—one of the most human things we do— whether it was through a daily standup or a monthly check-in.

Since the conversation wasn’t monopolized by one person, they were able to ask clarifying questions and give their input. In situations where only one person speaks, team members didn’t feel comfortable voicing their ideas, chiming in on other peoples’, or correcting their more vocal team members’ mistakes. Imbalanced communication, in short, defeated the purpose of collaborating in the first place.
teamwork  collaboration  communication  bestpractices 
november 2017 by kme
Why Japanese Kids Can Walk to School Alone - The Atlantic
This assumption is reinforced at school, where children take turns cleaning and serving lunch instead of relying on staff to perform such duties. This “distributes labor across various shoulders and rotates expectations, while also teaching everyone what it takes to clean a toilet, for instance,” Dixon says.

By giving them this freedom, parents are placing significant trust not only in their kids, but in the whole community. “Plenty of kids across the world are self-sufficient,” Dixon observes. “But the thing that I suspect Westerners are intrigued by [in Japan] is the sense of trust and cooperation that occurs, often unspoken or unsolicited.”
kids  society  trust  japan  teamwork 
september 2016 by kme
Diversity Training Doesn’t Work - HBR [https://hbr.org/]
Which, if you think about it, is the essential problem of prejudice in the first place. People aren’t prejudiced against real people; they’re prejudiced against categories. “Sure, John is gay,” they’ll say, “but he’s not like other gays.” Their problem isn’t with John, but with gay people in general.

Categories are dehumanizing. They simplify the complexity of a human being. So focusing people on the categories increases their prejudice.

The solution? Instead of seeing people as categories, we need to see people as people. Stop training people to be more accepting of diversity. It’s too conceptual, and it doesn’t work.


From the comments:
That being said, the language of D&I is divisive, the advocacy approach is met with both overt and covert hostility because of the inherent accusatory and incursive characteristics of D&I interventions, and most of these efforts are doomed to fail strictly because top leadership cannot usually last long enough to kill off the deep state original culture within an organization while at the same time stemming the flow of new prejudices into the organization.
diversity  workplace  collaboration  teamwork  womenintech 
april 2015 by kme
Argument Cultures and Unregulated Aggression - Kate Heddleston
The most popular theory as to why humans argue is that it is a tool for asserting dominance [3]. Evolutionarily speaking, the ability to climb the social hierarchy would be advantageous for the procreation and survival of an individual. Dominance, however, is more concerned with winning than truth. We find that to be true when humans argue; the truth often takes a back seat to beating one's opponent, and people will argue a point even after being presented with irrefutable evidence that they are wrong.

There are a few things you can do in your company to promote the kind of communication that’s healthy and productive for different situations. Understand when your goal is to expand ideas and when your goal is to narrow ideas down. During idea expansion, every idea and thought should be welcome. There should be a “yes and” attitude so that arguments (which are worthless at this point anyways) don’t get in the way of creativity. Work to create environments where it is safe for any and all voices to speak out.
engineering  culture  arguments  workplace  equality  teamwork 
march 2015 by kme
Alistair.Cockburn.us | Oath of Non-Allegiance
I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation.
devel  teamwork  collaboration  righttoolforthejob  openmindedness 
february 2015 by kme
Your team should work like an open source project
Open Source Constraints
* It's electronic
* It's available (they all have URLs)
* Asynchronous (can't really interrupt people)
* Lock free (DVCS) - developers don't have to "synchronize" on a manager
github  culture  management  process  teamwork  video  community 
october 2014 by kme

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