While the list of areas to improve is long- infinite, even- I thought I’d take a second to highlight three weaknesses that have the most negative impact on my work. I’ve tried to internalize the GitLab Iteration value, especially this line from Focusing on Improvement, “We believe great companies sound negative because they focus on what they can improve, not on what is working.” I believe the same can be true at the individual level.
Here are some feedback pieces I’ve received while at GitLab: * Feedback Doc from January 2019: This came from my manager when I had been at GitLab for about 6 months. * 360 Feedback from January 2019: This came through CultureAmp when GitLab had an organization-wide 360. * Feedback Doc from May 2019: This came in the context of a manager handoff. I had been at GitLab for 11 months. * My own reflection on 1 Year at GitLab in June 2019
It is my tendency to want to offer a thought as soon as it pops into my head. I am working to address this by: * counting the number of times in a day that I interrupt folks. I keep a tally in my notebook * setting a timer in meetings for a period of time in which I will not speak * staying on mute by default. This way unmuting becomes an intentional act I still have a lot of room for improvement.
I am terrible at estimating. I have gotten better, but I always only imagine the best-case scenario. Estimating is hard to begin with, add that I am bad and that I am optimistic, and you’ve got a sauce for terribleness. I am working to address this by: * providing a best case and a worst case * avoiding estimating (being honest here!) * capturing how long it took me to actually complete things so that I have more examples to base estimations off
Saying Yes Too Often
I’m an obliger, so when people ask me for things, my answer is that I want to please. Because I want to help everyone- I want to meet all external expectations set on me- I say yes without consideration of what I already have on my plate. As a result, I end up working on much more than I should be working on, leading me to work on nights and weekends.
I am no stranger to hard work, in fact I pride myself on my ethic. Saying yes, though, is a problem because I spend time working on the things that are not the things I should be spending my time on. I have gotten better by combining my love for GTD with doubling down on the Ivy Lee Method.
That being said, I still have to learn that “No” is a complete sentence.
As an aside, I think that at least part of the reason I’m so bad at estimating is that I let things creep in that throw off my original estimation.