Are you ready for a mic drop moment? Hold up, says psychologist Gay Hendricks. You could be starting, not ending, a very long dialogue.
Hendricks jokes, “When has your spouse said, ‘Thanks for letting me know. You’re completely in the right, and I’m completely in the wrong. I’ll never do that again!’”
In the September series, Welcome to Adulting, we’re looking at how practicing maturity works in everyday life. Gay’s advice about using discernment may do more than help your marriage; it could save your career.
Google faced a firestorm of controversy in August when engineer James Damore wrote a paper questioning its diversity practices. Google has long allowed its employees to discuss and even criticize company policy on internal forums. However, social media went crazy after Damore’s 10-page paper was leaked.
The premise was simple: Google’s diversity efforts had the opposite of their intended effect, resulting in “discriminatory practices”. He suggested that Google should rethink, and even dismantle, its programs.
The hub of Damore’s theories were aimed at women, itemizing personality traits such as neuroticism, higher agreeableness and a lack of assertiveness. A take-away was to “de-emphasize empathy” claiming, “Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.”
Yonatan Zunger, a former Google Distinguished Engineer and manager published a stellar response.
Surprisingly, what was its primary theme? Maturity.
Here are some excerpts:
Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers…All of these traits which the manifesto described as “female” are the core traits which make someone successful at engineering.
I need to be very clear here: not only was nearly everything you said in that document wrong, the fact that you did that has caused significant harm to people across this company, and to the company’s entire ability to function. And being aware of that kind of consequence is also part of your job.
You talked about a need for discussion about ideas; you need to learn the difference between “I think we should adopt Go as our primary language” and “I think one-third of my colleagues are either biologically unsuited to do their jobs, or if not are exceptions and should be suspected of such until they can prove otherwise to each and every person’s satisfaction.” Not all ideas are the same, and not all conversations about ideas even have basic legitimacy.
Are you irritated by this story? That’s ok…because you’re learning a lot of adulting skills.
Adults understand that awareness – knowing how your actions affect others and how others see you – is essential. When you’re all about collaboration, you get that practical, workable solutions combine head and heart.
Do you want true, effective collaboration, at work or home? Temper your genius solution with heartfelt kindness and empathy.