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Level Up - Issue #166

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Level Up

October 16 · Issue #166 · 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.


Behaviours vs Character Traits
This week I had a conversation with a person who said , “Rene is a really aggressive person.” It was obvious Rene had somehow upset this person. Curious to find out what was behind this, I asked, “What did Rene do that makes you see them as aggressive?”
After a few examples, I zoned in on one concrete example. I asked, “Was there anything else that might have driven that behaviour?” This person reflected for a moment and commented, “Well… Rene is under a lot of stress at the moment. Maybe that’s what triggered that?”
I find myself having conversations like this with different leaders all the time. It’s very natural to label people. Examples often include, “That person is toxic/aggressive/defensive”. These labels are our projections on someone else. I’m also betting the other party would not agree with those labels. More importantly, if you’re going to form a good working relationship with someone, focusing on character traits (i.e. fixed mindset) is less productive than focusing on behaviours (i.e. using a growth mindset).
Put differently, it’s a lot easier to request someone to change their behaviour, than it is to ask them to change who they are. Your challenge for this week is to listen in conversations and spot when people are labelling others, instead of calling out their behaviours.
I hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter! Share it with a friend or colleague if you find it helpful, or drop me an email about topics you’d like to hear about in future editions.
Join a cohort-based fully remote workshop Engineering Manager Essentials and Shortcut to Tech Leadership 🎉 to level up your technical leadership skills. Or choose a self-paced course at the http://techlead.academy

Behaviours are incomplete at describing who someone is
Behaviours are incomplete at describing who someone is
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Leadership
My Shoelace Story
Avoiding the Culture Trap
Being an Introverted Leader
Level up your technical leadership skills with an online cohort-based workshop in Nov
Level up your technical leadership skills with an online cohort-based workshop in Nov
Tech
Scaling False Peaks
Picnic loves Error Prone: producing high-quality and consistent Java code
For Better or Worse, Tesla Bot Is Exactly What We Expected
Learn what it means to manage systems, not people with this self-paced course. Click the banner to find out more
Learn what it means to manage systems, not people with this self-paced course. Click the banner to find out more
Organisation & Processes
Why is Everything so Slow? - Measuring and Optimising How Engineering Teams Deliver
Setting your engineers up for success: how Skyscanner created greater clarity in our competencies and pathways to progression
Product Engineering TODOs for Series A Leaders
Tweets of the Week
A great short twitter thread with some good insights 👇
Klaus
If you want a high-performing remote engineering org, you need to invest into social capital.

Lately, various things I was reading clicked. Tying them together in a 🧵⬇️
A fascinating thread on applying AI on products. Click the tweet to view more 👇
Russ Maschmeyer
AI unlocks unlimited product photography. 🤯

Recent advances have made it possible for merchants to turn mobile photos into high quality product images + ad creative.

AI can now learn and reproduce a product on demand. More…👇[1/10]

#ai #aiart #stablediffusion #dreambooth https://t.co/sNrRLtIIa1
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany