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Amplifying Others

smizell profile image Stephen Mizell ・1 min read

I want to share a way that I elevate others and give visibility to those who may not be visible. It's proven to be a way for me to build trust with others that I work with and to make sure others are seen and heard.

  1. I try to use "we" when talking about team accomplishments. Even if I did the bulk of the work or the most visible work, I try to put the group in the spotlight.
  2. I try to use the person's name when talking about a teammate's work. Rather than use "we," I directly give that person credit for their work and ideas.
  3. I try to use "I" when taking responsibility. If something fell through the cracks that was my fault, or if something didn't go as we planned, I put it on my back.

It usually works well, and it sometimes feels contagious. Others will often amplify each other’s work or ideas the same way. I feel it lets people share without the fear of someone else taking the credit. This is healthy for a team.

I must add a disclaimer. I mention these tips from a place of privilege. I can give away visibility or credit and be fine. This may not be true for underrepresented groups or people with low visibility. They may have to use "I" where I try to use "we." It's on me to recognize that and amplify their work and voice even more.

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Stephen Mizell

@smizell

I'm a software developer, and I spend a lot of time thinking about APIs, best practices, and culture.

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