‘How are you doing?’

Reflecting on the first six months of the year 2021

screenshot from LinkedIN

t’s that time of the year when you do 1–1 with each team member, asking each of them, “How are you doing?”

Six months has passed. It’s time to look back at their “progress.”

Before you jump into the discussion of OKRs (objective-key results) and problems they were supposed to solve, you begin with small talk.

How are you doing?

I’m okay. A team member answers.

No, really, how are you doing?

You probe.

The next reply might be totally different.

It is a question that aims to invite an emotional response.

Well, now that you ask, I’m not happy.

The team member responds.

This scenario brings back a story I’ve read about a Google study on productivity.

Aiming to discover what makes a team effective, Google launched Project Aristotle to answer one question: What makes an effective team (at Google)?

So what did Google find out after studying 180 teams?

“To build a successful team, you must find the balance between results and culture,” the Google study concluded.

One thing is clear: people work better when they work together. But it is also important to understand HOW they work together.

On culture, here’s a TedxTalk on how to build what Google calls a “psychological safety” for employees.

Note on the author: He writes when inspiration or desperation strikes.

An ex-journalist. Teacher. Dad. Loves Guitar & Books. Writes when inspiration hits him.