Thursday, 8 February 2018

Cognitive Distortions: XTC Meetup Agenda

A wise man once told me, XTC is group therapy for angry people to share their problems[1]Others may tell you that XTC is the Extreme Tuesday Club. It may have been founded around Extreme Programming but I've yet to have a session related to XP practices :P They definitely meetup every fortnight on Tuesday though :). With that in mind, I submitted a random candidate into the vote for the next session...

The results of the vote[2]The XP topic came second to bottom, further proof that XTC only liked XP before it was cool.

Turns out almost everyone wanted to talk about it! So on February 20th you can join us at The City Pride to talk about The 10 Cognitive Distortions. We will be reflecting on the thoughts that drive us and if they are potentially making you unhappy.

The focus should be on thoughts that reflect your opinion of yourself. Factual statements like "I don't know Scala" should be discarded. Thoughts like "I should be better at Scala" are the ones you want to go after, especially if they make you stressed or frustrated.

The rough agenda will be:
  1. Get into groups to collect together "Negative Thoughts"
  2. See what Cognitive Distortions match up
  3. Think about the positive and negative effects of the thoughts
  4. Now shake off the distortions and rewrite the thoughts, whilst preserving the positive effects!
Between now and the session, if you jot down any negative thoughts you have then it will give you better examples to work with. Look forward to seeing you all there![3]Free pizza and rants, what's not to love?

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Having Compassion - The Autobahn Metaphor

At the XTC meeting on Tuesday 23rd August I had the pleasure of meeting Sven! He shared with me a way of relating to other people’s world view and actions which centred around “how fast do you drive on the Autobahn?”.

The autobahn is the German motorway - famous for having no speed limit. 

On the Autobahn<link> there is no speed limit, a driver can as fast as they like. Say we are driving at 80mph, we could then say that we perceive:
  • 80mph is the CORRECT speed!
  • The drivers going 50mph are delaying me and it is a nuisance overtaking them.
  • The drivers going 180mph are dangerous and are risking crashing into me.

This leads to an interest situation where you can bisect the population of drivers as “agreeing” with your world view and those that are “detrimental” to you. Naturally this leads you somewhat into conflict… it would be GREAT if everyone just drove at YOUR speed right?!

How do we overcome this and actually relate to all the other drivers on the road then?

Monday, 7 August 2017

Developer Diary: Starting At TIM Group

Today was my first day working at TIM Group! I'm humbled to be working with so many enthusiastic and intelligent people. The culture and way of working at the company is a massive departure from what I am used to. Everyone in technology is responsible for themselves, trusted to get the work done and nurtured to improve. People under the value of happiness and real work/life balance.

Even after a single day there I am seeing and feeling the difference. Little things like:

  1. We managed to break something as I was being onboarded. A colleague spotted this before us, fixed it and notified us. No fuss, no muss.
  2. For lunch we took 90 minutes and sang sea shanties, it was silly and glorious. It could have been embarrassing but it felt like a safe space :)
  3. Everyone, including the CEO, started walking out at 5.30pm
  4. For 7 years I've come home and gotten changed. There is relief when I can take off the suit. Today I walked in the door and I was already comfortable in my skin.
Exciting times :)