The Positive Impact Test

In the most recent Distributed podcast, Matt chatted with Vanessa Van Edwards of Science of People. I’ve had the episode queued up in Overcast since it came out, and I finally had an opportunity to listen to it yesterday during some yard work.

I thought the conversation was wonderful and provided many tactical tips including how to look and sound better over Zoom calls, which is applicable as many people switch from in-person to forced remote work.

They also talked about our internal definition of API at Automattic—“assume positive intent”. This is particularly important in a distributed workplace where much of the conversation occurs over text and comments can be misconstrued or read in an unintended tone.

The piece that stuck out the most was at the very end when Vanessa mentioned the Positive Impact Test (originally from author Tom Rath)—three questions she asks herself at the end of every day:

  1. In the last 24 hours, have I helped someone?
  2. In the last 24 hours, have I praised someone?
  3. In the last 24 hours have I told someone that I cared about them or appreciated them?

Certainly great questions to keep top of mind!

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