• joe@jhanderson.biz   
    (206) 351-5607   

  • Darwin’s versions of “grief” are kind of limited. We can be more creative than that.

    There is good evidence (for example, here and here) that describing your emotions with greater precision (sometimes called emotional granularity) improves both resilience and performance.

    So try using more colorful and descriptive words in your next standup or status report. They might be more useful than “things are going pretty good” or “there are some issues.” Sources and more examples are here and here.

    1. Torschlusspanik (German: literally “gate-closing panic”). Use this when you’re up against a deadline and stupid things are starting to happen.
    2. Pihentagyú (Hungarian: “with a relaxed brain”, it describes quick-witted people who can come up with sophisticated jokes or solutions). Most likely to occur outside the Torschlusspanik phase.
    3. Natsukashii (Japanese: a nostalgic longing for the past, with happiness for the fond memory, yet sadness that it is no longer). Use to report that you have finally decommissioned that legacy server.
    4. Malu: (Indonesian: the sudden experience of feeling constricted, inferior and awkward around people of higher status). Use to describe how things went at the board meeting.
    5. Saudade (Portuguese: a vague, dreaming wistfulness for phenomena that may not even exist). A nice substitute for “stretch goal”.
    6. Dadirri (Australian aboriginal: a deep, spiritual act of reflective and respectful listening). Use to describe your most recent meeting with your manager.
    7. Orenda (Huron: the power of the human will to change the world in the face of powerful forces such as fate). Excellent for kickoff meetings; use sparingly in retrospectives.
    8. Desenrascanço (Portuguese: to artfully disentangle oneself from a troublesome situation). Use when you finally figure out something that has been stumping the team for weeks.
    9. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego: this word captures that special look shared between two people, when both are wishing that the other would do something that they both want, but neither want to do). Maybe shorten to “mami”? Use to describe how your pair programming is going.
    10. Yuan bei (Chinese: a sense of complete and perfect accomplishment). You could use this just about every day, right?

    You can learn more about how to develop your emotional intelligence skills at my Emotional Intelligence for Technology Delivery class, October 25, 2017 from 4-6pm in Pioneer Square. Learn more and register here.