I remember the time when we initially led the foundation of Mozilla MozPacers in 2015,
out of nothing. In the initial days, the focus was heavily on enhancing our skills,
constructive feedback loops & creating awareness as a community.
We coached people in different domains, may it be public speaking, writing blog posts, or coding.
I was heavily focused on coding. The outcome was http://www.mozpacers.org and several other projects under MozPacers Github Organization (https://github.com/mozpacers)
I can totally relate to the levels of listening:
Level 1 - Internal listening: In mid-2015, when we were few, I focused on self-learning and improvement. My decisions revolved around how would I learn, enhance my skills & how would it impact me.
Level 2 - Focused listening: When we grew, near to 2015 end, I started contributing upstream patches to Mozilla’s Gecko Engine. Teaching students the same. My curiosity level shifted to listen to their problems and excitement stories of wanting to contribute but how they were struggling in the pathway. We tried to guide them and that is how we evolved in a bigger community.
Level 3 - Global listening: As we grew, we had different mediums of communication. The signal to noise ratio decreased; it became important that the other person feels like equivalent part of the community and their opinions actually matter. That is how we promoted inclusiveness & became a welcoming community.
After each event, we followed something related to “GROW” approach as a base model, where we discussed about – “What could we improve on next time?” and several questions like these. We then took constructive feedback from each other and grew together as a team. We started “Knowledge-Sharing” sessions and explored OKRs for each individual who speaks up or learns. This way, everyone got involved in improving individually, as a team & then contributing upstream to Mozilla. Also applying OKRs strategy in various other Open Source communities (LinuxChix India, PyDelhi to name a few).
Having clear objectives & goals triggered by continuous feedback loops, helped us in strengthening the community of Open Source volunteers over the last few years.