Mindset Book Cover

This week we begin to get into the nitty gritty of the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Today we are reflecting on Chapter 1, Mindsets, from the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book.  First, we will summarize the chapter then we examine the concept from the point of view of an Agile coach.

Chapter 1 -Mindsets

Summary:

Dweck’s research has identified two different mindsets. The two mindsets are called the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Dweck defined the two mindsets through her research into why people succeed and fail. (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 427 begins with an essay on the Post-Agile Age, titled Onward to Post-Agile Age.  The Post-Agile Age is coming and it is a bed that human nature and commercial pressures have created.

Next Jeremy Berriault brings his QA Corner to the Cast to discuss how he views the role of product owner in Agile testing . Visit Jermey’s new blog at https://jberria.wordpress.com/

The Software Sensei, Kim Pries, discusses requirements and weird tools like the Z notation.  Reach out to Kim on LinkedIn.

Jon M Quigley, brings his column, the Alpha and Omega of Product Development to the cast.  In this installment, Jon concludes a three part series on configuration management.  This week Jon puts all of the pieces together. One of the places you can find Jon is at Value Transformation LLC.

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we start to get into the nitty gritty of our re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This week we discuss Chapter one and then explore some the applications of the mindset concepts to coaching.   (more…)

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Emotional intelligence often touted as a tool that can be used to make every outcome better. However, the more academic literature suggests economic intelligence is not a panacea.  There are numerous papers that identify scenarios in which emotional Intelligence has not discernible impact on business outputs and might actually get in the way. Several are described below: (more…)

Lots of screens!

So many things to learn and so little time to do it!

I was asked why emotional intelligence was important and whether emotional intelligence can be learned.

With a little probing on the second part of the question, it was suggested that there was a school of thought that emotional intelligence is an inherent human attribute; you have it or you don’t. The “either you are or aren’t” argument is similar those with a fixed mindset make about most capabilities.  The concept of a fixed in the book Mindset written by Carol Dweck. In the book, Dweck argues that mindsets are not fixed and we have identified several attributes that comprise emotional intelligence that can be improved in the essay, A Few Steps To Improving Your Emotional Intelligence. I do not accept that emotional intelligence is a fixed human ability. Simply put, your emotional intelligence quotient is not fixed and can be learned.

The second question suggests that emotional intelligence, while interesting, is not useful in the day-to-day operation of an Agile team (or by extension an organization). Fortunately, you do not have to look far to find applications of emotional intelligence in many day-to-day scenarios, ranging from team meetings to sales. As a leader or coach, it is easy to identify scenarios when emotional intelligence can be useful.  Three examples are:   

Diffusing Problem Situations

Problems happen and most involve people.  The large problems, for example, an irate client or someone that is acting counter to the team needs, are often easily spotted once they have happened. However, they are often the result of an accumulation of little issues; minor abrasions can add up. Examples of minor issues might include an occasional bit of underperformance, a bad mood, some failing to wish you happy birthday, talking over you on occasion.  The list can go on. Emotional intelligence helps not only to recognize the problem but more importantly when combined with listening to those within the boundary of the problem helps everyone to unburden.  Understanding and listening are input into empathy which is needed to come up with a fitting solution. Emotional intelligence is a tool to defuse problem situations.

Curiosity

Two of the five competencies of emotional intelligence are awareness and self-awareness of emotions in yourself and others and secondly, the ability to construct relationships. These two competencies are typically reflected as a curiosity. In my re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, one of the attributes of the growth mindset is insatiable need to learn and experience challenges, a related form of curiosity. Emotional intelligence is linked to the growth mindset through curiosity (at the very least).  Curiosity and the desire to learn are important capabilities in stable cross-functional teams.  Agile teams with emotionally intelligent members will be able to stretch to meet their customer needs because leveraging their curiosity they can identify what the skill they need to know, then learn new skills and discover new solutions. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but emotional intelligence fosters curiosity and learning will make the Agile team.

Repeat Clients

I have many friends that are fellow consultants, both independent and part of a larger organization.  All of them are intelligent, all of them have great pedigrees and many of them are successful as independents. When consultants gather, the one conversation all consultants have is getting and keeping clients.  I have observed that the consultants that have repeating/recurring clients have significantly more emotional intelligence than those that are great at getting clients but less so at generating repeat business.  Emotional intelligence is a tool to build meaningful relationships that make it easier get repeat business.  The essay, Emotional Intelligence: A Few Basics referenced Daniel Kahneman’s statement  ”that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t.”  Emotional intelligence makes it easier to build solid relationships that translate into repeat clients. Without emotional intelligence, it is difficult to generate the empathy needed to invest time into growing relationships based on anything other than sales volume.

Emotional intelligence is useful for identifying and defusing problems, generating relationships and to facilitate repeat sales. You are not born with all of the emotional intelligence that you can or will ever need.  Emotional intelligence is a reflection of a set of capabilities that can be improved.  We should invest the time, effort and money needed to get increase our emotional intelligence capability.    

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SPaMCAST 426 marks a milestone!  SPaMCAST 426 is the end of Year 10.  The Cast features our second annual round table.  Almost all of the SPaMCAST contributors gathered virtually to discuss a number of topics, including:

  1. Is software quality really one of the most important focuses in IT in 2017?
  2. Even though people are adopting agile, is agile a as principle-driven movement over?
  3. In 2017 will security trump quality and productivity?

The multiway discussion was exciting and informative! This was a great way to finish year 10 and get the motor primed for year 11!

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We will start slowly as I read ahead and give you time to find or buy a copy of the book.   I am reading the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book (I had to re-buy the book as my first copy seems to have a new home).  

I was excited that the Software Process and Measurement Blog readers selected Mindset for Re-read Saturday.  I am looking forward to refreshing my understanding of the powerful ideas Dweck identifies as growth and fixed mindsets.  Mindsets are very useful for understanding why some people grow and others don’t and why some teams excel and other less so. Also, Mindset is easily the single most quoted book  I have seen in presentations at conferences for the past few years.

Next week we start in on Chapter One of the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, buy a copy this week.

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

Next SPaMCAST

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 427 begins Year 11 with an essay on the Post-Agile Age.  It is coming and it is a bed that human nature and commercial pressures has created. (Not sure what I mean?  Tune in, stream or download )  We will also have columns from Jon Quigley, Jeremy Berriault, and Kim Pries.  SPaMCAST 427 will celebrate the new SPaMCAST year in style!

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

 

Mindset Book Cover

This week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We will start slowly as I read ahead and give you time to find or buy a copy of the book.   I am reading the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book (I had to re-buy the book as my first copy seems to have a new home).  

I was excited that the Software Process and Measurement Blog readers selected Mindset for Re-read Saturday.  I am looking forward to refreshing my understanding of the powerful ideas Dweck identifies as growth and fixed mindsets.  Mindsets are very useful for understanding why some people grow and others don’t and why some teams excel and other less so. Also, Mindset is easily the single most quoted book in I have seen in presentations at conferences for the past few years.   (more…)

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Emotional intelligence is the proficiency of identifying and managing our own emotions and the emotions of others. Not everyone has the skills to be emotionally intelligent.  Skills represent an ability that comes from knowledge, practice, and aptitude in order to do something well. While everyone has a different beginning and maximum level of natural capability, between those boundaries skills can be learned and honed. (more…)