The Dos and Don’ts of Networking

I’ve spent a lot of time networking over the course of my career. During that time, my approach has slowly migrated from showing up to a few meetups after work to a much more intentional process providing far more value than when I first started. Here are a few of the lessons that I’ve learned […]

Should I Speak Up?

Regular readers of Atomic Spin probably already know that Crucial Conversations is required reading for all new Atoms. The authors—Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, McMillan, and Switzler—didn’t stop there, however. They’ve written several books, including the one I’ve been reading lately, Crucial Accountability. While reading one of the earlier chapters, I was struck by four simple questions […]

Manage Your Emotions by Disputing Them with REBT

People—including you—run on emotion. No matter how hard we try to approach situations with an open mind and an eye toward critical thinking, our feelings are always there coloring our views. Occasionally, very negative feelings can take over, and things are said or decisions are made that we later regret. Fortunately for us, Albert Ellis introduced Rational Emotive Behavior […]

Negotiating Your Project Management/Development Approach with Clients

During the sales process, it’s really easy to spend all of your time talking with clients about their software needs while ignoring questions of process. But so often it’s organizational differences that causes all of the headaches. Clients often lack the authority to make quick decisions, have competing priorities, or are blocked by IT policies. […]

Does Empathy for Users Blind Us?

For years, the professional software community has agreed that empathy is a good thing. If you can be empathetic, you stand a better chance of creating the sort of software that your users will use and value. After all, once we’re in the head of our users, we should automatically understand exactly what it is […]

Putting “Certainty” to the Test in Group Decisions

I came by an interesting article in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review: “How Certainty Transforms Persuasion.” The crux of the article is to explain how certainty—not accuracy or correctness—is used to persuade others to follow your way of thinking. The authors explain how certainty increases through the use of four levers: consensus, repetition, ease, […]