- Everyone wants to be kind to each other and see each other happy.
- Everyone wants Bungie to succeed and become a better and better place to work.
- We want people to feel silly, original and unguarded at work. We want people to feel psychologically safe and able to engage their whole selves and express themselves freely.
By default, the number three opens up an incredibly wide space for acceptable behavior, while the combination of one and two gives us some safety buffer in case something third accidentally breaks (for whatever reasons, but not limited to scenarios involving ID and E).
However, we don’t rely on this safety buffer for everything – we’re not building a culture where you can say whatever you want and everyone has to put up with it. This is clearly different from the broader US legal system (guaranteed freedom of speech in public, etc.) Bungie’s clear intention is to achieve common goals with a high degree of unity and trust, so we’re a tight-knit and less infighting group we want to be country as a whole, so we design and develop our culture to support this goal. So we return to the vast space of personal expression and add some safeguards to reduce the potential for conflict and increase overall psychological safety. For example:
- Bungie has it no It’s okay to be disagreeable in ways that are widely recognized in US culture.
- For example, you are expected to know that it is wrong to use any racial slur.
- Bungie has it no It’s okay to be unpleasant to people in ways we know to themeven in ways that are more accepted by the broader US culture.
- At Bungie, when someone tells us, “I personally find this unappealing,” we take it incredibly seriously.
- It is closely related to The Platinum Rule: we behave like others they are I would like to be treated as, not as we would like to be treated.
- This is not only traditional ID&E and URG scenarios, it’s also about following patterns that support a collaborative culture with high psychological safety—a culture that deeply welcomes people and their talents and feels safe to be vulnerable and make mistakes. To achieve this goal, some of the restrictions we place on naïve free expression are:
- It is not right to destroy the spirituality and adjustment of people around you with cynicism. There are many subtleties between cynicism and honest criticism, we want it!
- Sincere criticism is encouraged, even in groups, as long as it is fair, respectful, constructive, and does not impute bad motives or incompetence to others. If criticizing someone’s work helps them improve, that’s great, but remember that you want them to be happy. Make sure your criticism style reflects that intention. Of course, criticism can be tempered here – we don’t want to be a culture where we all speak in deep euphemisms about the fact that the emperor might be a little underdressed for the weather. You’ll want to adjust your bar when working with people – a typical loop is to try what you think is a friendly critique style for the situation and then ask for feedback! Sometimes a person will say, “Yeah, that hurt my feelings a little bit, I wish you’d done Xi,” and sometimes they’ll say, “You’ve spent more time on rejections than you should, you could be more direct. !”
- If you think a leader’s decision is wrong and spread cynicism and FUD Instead of bringing it up to this leader in a professional manner among your peers, it’s not okay.
- If you catch someone in a mistake and call them out in a hurtful way, that’s okay—we don’t want people to fear negative emotional experiences as a result of any mistake, because that’s a) being overly cautious and (b) hiding mistakes instead of learning from them.
- It’s not good to score demagogic points in groups (leveling a rhetorical attack that sounds compelling but is actually oversimplified or misleading).
- In virtually all cases, punching is worse than punching in these areas—leaders are more tasked with consistently creating psychological safety because of their relative power and safety. These guidelines still apply to any pair of people in the company – it would be worse if the CEO personally insulted the assistant engineer, but neither is good.
- There are more examples like this in our Values Handbook.
With these guardrails limiting the space of acceptable personal expression, our originally expansive space of expression is now a bit smaller, but we believe it strengthens our culture, especially great games to unite our strengths!”
Excerpt from the Tone and Inclusivity Guidelines for Bungie Engineering & Testing
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