Today I took part in Episode 6 of New Breakpoint along with an impressive list of local ladies:
You can check out the episode on YouTube here
Part of the discussion I wanted to delve into a bit further centred around how to support Women In IT. My advice centres around nothing specific to women but how to support anyone in your team and generally be a good human.
Listen to them and when I say listen – I mean uninterrupted and deep. Being in a problem solving job can make this harder – but don’t try and fix the problem – just listen. Use this time to not only listen but to use your eyes to observe and take notes.
Good things to note are interesting ideas, suggestions on actions that you can help with.
Never underestimate how much value people feel when they truely feel listened to.
Use the power of your network and the power of your voice here.
This can include:
- Thinking of them, tagging them, forwarding them, nominating them for jobs, promotions, awards
- Introductions – for collaboration, mentoring
- Writing a performance review, giving them a reference, giving them constructive feedback
- Tapping them on the shoulder for presenting at user groups, conferences, writing up papers, media interviews
This is where taking some notes at Ears can come in handy. If you have some notes on what good things, good ideas, what people truely are interested in it makes it much easier to put together the right people, write up their achievements in reviews etc.
This can be as simple of having a list dedicated to “things people did that made my day better” and having that list handy at a retrospective and using it as examples of things that went well, things you think the team should do more of etc.
Everyone needs a cheer squad. This is where you can amplify all the things – big and small.
- Congratulate them on new job, promotion, awards – and use your gears to publicly celebrate these things with them – like their announcements, retweet their posts, love their slack posts etc.
- Be physically or virtually there for their presentations and be the friendly face
- Linking in with ears – be there to hear about the good things that happened to them no matter how small and be there to say YAY!