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Level Up - Issue #41

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I sensed a theme of feedback this week in some of my conversations. It must be review season. Or diff
 

Level Up

May 24 · Issue #41 · View online
Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. A project by http://patkua.com. Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.

I sensed a theme of feedback this week in some of my conversations. It must be review season. Or difficult times that companies are going through as they choose to let people go. Have a question about feedback? I’d love to hear it - send me an email. We receive so many poor examples of feedback every day. This cycle repeats as companies fail to train managers on effective feedback. One of my favourite books on this topic is, “Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.”
Giving feedback as a leader or manager is not trivial. You have a power imbalance between you and the receiver that adds barriers. A key to offering effective feedback is also a key to building high performing teams - fostering psychological safety. If people feel threatened, or they perceive their job at risk, it’s natural they disagree, justify and dismiss feedback. A big warning sign is when they fail to acknowledge your feedback. This is very different to agreeing or disagreeing with your point of view 🙅‍♀️🙅‍♂️.
One technique I find useful to foster psychology safety is to ask people to suggest a suitable time. In these times, it’s hard to know what may be going on at home - childcare, health or other worries. Springing feedback on someone is bound to trigger defensiveness.
I hope you enjoy this week’s content. If you find it useful, please forward to someone else and send me feedback. Stay safe and healthy 🙏
Level up your leadership skills with better time management. Register for the new online course, “Time Management for Technical Leaders” from the Tech Lead Academy 🎉

Leadership
New Managers: Effective Management
Discussing Microsoft's open-sourcity
The #1 Rule of “No”
No Brilliant Jerks: How to Deal with Maverick CEOs
Tech
ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree
Five Years of Rust
The Third Age of JavaScript
The most successful developers share more than they take
What I’ve learned while ramping up on a large software project
Organisation & Processes
This Editorial Team Ditches Zoom And Instead Starts Using Red Dead Redemption For Meetings, Here's How It Goes For Them
Tell Me How You Measure Me - Francisco Trindade - Medium
Interesting tweets
You might recognise the start of this from engineering leader, @randyshoup. 😂
Randy Shoup
I Am The Very Model of A Modern Software Architect

I am the very model of a modern software architect
Whose data planes and services do elegantly intersect.
Far and wide I’m celebrated for my keen ability
To balance throughput, latency, and high-availability.
A great 🧵 from @KieranSnyder (CEO of @textio) dealing with delegation during the COVID-19 times when everyone is remote.
Kieran Snyder
1 Today a manager asked me how to think about assigning work equitably right now when everyone on the team is in a different place with what they can personally take on. It started me thinking. Thread >>
This is another lovely 🧵 from @nota_bennett showing when a person recognises “power imbalance” in conversations and what you can do to have more effective conversations.
Nat
So here’s a Manager Trick I picked up that’s useful for anyone working with people with less positional authority than you

Sometimes people will come to you very upset about something
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share with others!
If you’re interested in growing and supporting technical leaders in your company, get in touch about my “Tech Lead Skills for Developers” course or check out the Tech Lead Academy online course on “Time Management for Technical Leaders
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany