I’ve been accused of being a narcissist before. Not in those exact words, but I will never forget the conversation. I was 25 and a good friend of mine and I were talking. She finally said (in a rare pause of my banter), “Natalie, you always talk about you and never ask about me.” Wow, that one hit hard and I felt guilty and ashamed. I had never thought about it before. I wondered where my baby-boomer parents had gone wrong in raising me as a millennial snowflake (who was nothing but extraordinary) who didn’t know the true definition of meaningful discourse. Ever since then, I’ve put a concerted effort into making sure that I ask the other person I’m talking to questions about themselves. It’s a constant reminder in my awkward conversational brain – “ask them about their day, weekend, year…yeah—that’s perfect!” We often run into a narcissism problem in product development, too, and it can stem from fear and shame.
Think about when you started in a new job or new department and the flood of acronyms that you heard. It was like people were speaking a different language and they pretty much were. I’m not saying acronyms are bad – they do have their places as mnemonic devices and to shorten things – but when they develop into a lingo that is unrecognizable to anyone outside the fold we have a problem.
So it’s been awhile since I’ve been active here and it was time to pick it up again. Let’s talk about diversity *everyone sighs uncomfortably and looks for the back button* – NO NO WAIT! Diversity isn’t what you may think it means. Let’s talk about what else it can mean and why it’s a big deal.
So who isn’t a fan of working from home? Very few would openly admit to being against it. The fact of the matter is the most effective way to communicate is still face to face no matter what new tools we have (individuals and interactions over processes and tools). Does working from home have its place? Yes. Has it been abused and made us less effective as well? I think so.
I can’t be the only one who feels pressure to be perfect. At least not the only one in my generation: the millennials. We are told for our whole lives that we can do whatever we want to. We are constantly praised for doing anything from getting a good grade to throwing a Frisbee correctly. We are molded to believe we can do no wrong, but that’s not the case. When we do in fact do something less-than-perfect, the pressure of the impending blame or failure is almost crippling at times.