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Level Up - Issue #102

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Level Up

July 25 · Issue #102 · View online

Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. A project by https://patkua.com. Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.


Leading a quieter team
In one of my mentoring sessions this week, someone asked, “How can you encourage a quieter team to speak in meetings?” Here is some advice you can use to encourage quiet people, who you think are maybe introverted or shy to equally contribute. It may not necessarily involve speaking either.
First, determine the source. Some people appear quiet because their previous teams were more hierarchical and therefore they waited until they were invited to provide their experience. Some people might have grown up in cultures (e.g. with a high Power Distance Index) which also might drive some of this behaviour. Others might be quiet because they need more time processing questions and find it difficult to respond on the spot (that’s me sometimes!). Others might be quiet because they literally have no experience they feel is relevant and don’t want to waste others time discussing. To find the source, it’s often useful to ask. 1-1s are a great place for this, for sharing your observations and exploring for intent.
Second, adapt your processes. Once you have a good understanding of why people might be quiet, consider how you might adapt your processes. If people need more time processing, can you send them questions in advance to give them preparation time. If your team has a dominant outspoken person, consider silent time at the start of the meeting, drawing on brainwriting instead of brainstorming. If someone is used to a more hierarchical team, explicitly invite their opinions. If people need more time, consider using a more asynchronous style of working like collaborating on a shared google doc instead of running a team meeting.
Good leadership adapts to the needs of your people. Your challenge for this week is to consider how you’re adapting your leadership approach to involve the quieter folks in your team.
I hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter! Share it with a friend or colleague if you find it helpful. Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Sign up for the online workshop, “Shortcut to Tech Leadership” or take a self-paced course at the http://techlead.academy.

How do you do encourage quiet people to contribute?
How do you do encourage quiet people to contribute?
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So true!
Justin Searls
The single smartest thing Ruby on Rails did was provide an easy-to-use system for systematic migrations of database schema changes.

But here we are—17 years later!—and it's amazing how many apps don't have a robust migration system in place. Few frameworks even try to provide it
An interesting thread with lots of interesting answers (some good examples too!)
Sam Newman
So I think the distinction for many people between synchronous and asynchronous inter-service communication to be *really* fuzzy. What does async comms mean to you?
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share with others!
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Watch out for future dates for the Shortcut to Tech Leadership online workshop, or check out self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany