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Most important DBA Skill? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:42 AM
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TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
[quote]
I'm not polarizing I'm simply bring up another viewpoint here. You point is taken, I want the best team in there too, but I am still concerned about the ONE brilliant (or not so brilliant) guy/gal in that room that has the scalpel in his hand sticking into my head! I'm not concerned about whether he/she is a nice person at that time of my life if you know what I mean.


I for one have been there and done that. I wanted the best. His skill was exemplary and his bedside skills with the patient were not so hot. The operation went perfect and the result was outstanding. He did not visit me after the operation and I have not seen him since that morning. He is not a people person, he is a skilled surgeon.



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Post #1448495
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:46 AM
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TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
umailedit (4/30/2013)
Let me take the contrary view here.

Hypothetical Question: You are about to have a brain aneurysm operated on. Who would you pick?
1) A brain surgeon with little less technical skills but who you can get along with nicely.
2) The brain surgeon who is a genius who has a 100% success rate and is the most arrogant prick you have ever met.

If the surgeon in point 2 was regularly pissing off the rest of the team, especially to the extent they weren't concentrating properly on their jobs, I'll take number one, please. As with most things, surgery involves teamwork, and teamwork involves people getting on together. Very few jobs exist that aren't a compromise of technical skill and people skills.


I have a sister that was a RN nurse so I can speak from her experience here. If they were operating on my shoulder I might (enphasizing the word MIGHT) agree with you, but one of the most important organs in my body!!!! I'm sorry, but I will take expertise (Point#2) here everytime. I don't want a real nice guy in that operating room bringing his B or C game. I don't care how nice he is. I want the guy that knows his stuff and what he is doing and bringing his A+ game with all his knowledge, period. Most operating room staff leave that personality crap at the operating room door anyway. Particularly, when it involves someone's life. The hospital and them can be held liable if they let stuff like that affect an patient outcome. My sister used to tell me all the time when I was younger when she would come home from work complaining about a certain doctor on her floor "But you know, although that doctor is a 14-carat gold prick, if I was in this hospital I would want him taking care of me.". That pretty much says it all...


I can go much further than that. Nice, quiet, unassumming surgeons with excellent people skills and the patience of a saint don't exist. OR nurses learn very quickly how to do their jobs, what each surgeon wants and how to do it. If not, they don't work in the OR very long at all!

There is a difference between treating people poorly for no good reason (not a good doctor), and setting standards for performance and demanding a competent person to replace the one that can't perform. There is nothing mean about telling an incompetent nurse to get the xxxx out of the OR! Great surgeons tend towards having limited patience. Why? Because surgeons who are too patient kill people, and don't practice very long.

"Oh nurse, would you please take a moment, when you are done discussing your daughter's cheerleading skills of course, to hand me that clamp so I can stop this guy from bleeding out? Only if it pleases you though, I know how important cheerleading is to you..."


Dave
Post #1448497
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:54 AM
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Miles Neale (5/1/2013)
TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
[quote]
I'm not polarizing I'm simply bring up another viewpoint here. You point is taken, I want the best team in there too, but I am still concerned about the ONE brilliant (or not so brilliant) guy/gal in that room that has the scalpel in his hand sticking into my head! I'm not concerned about whether he/she is a nice person at that time of my life if you know what I mean.


I for one have been there and done that. I wanted the best. His skill was exemplary and his bedside skills with the patient were not so hot. The operation went perfect and the result was outstanding. He did not visit me after the operation and I have not seen him since that morning. He is not a people person, he is a skilled surgeon.


I had a similar experience, and I absolutely refuse to say anything about the surgeon except he is outstanding at what he does, he and my primary care physician disagree on some things, he knew when to read me the riot act, and I have him to thank for where I am today. If someone asks me for the best doctor in his field, he is number one on that list.



Dave
Post #1448508
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 11:13 AM


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djackson 22568 (5/1/2013)
I can go much further than that. Nice, quiet, unassumming surgeons with excellent people skills and the patience of a saint don't exist. OR nurses learn very quickly how to do their jobs, what each surgeon wants and how to do it. If not, they don't work in the OR very long at all!

There is a difference between treating people poorly for no good reason (not a good doctor), and setting standards for performance and demanding a competent person to replace the one that can't perform. There is nothing mean about telling an incompetent nurse to get the xxxx out of the OR! Great surgeons tend towards having limited patience. Why? Because surgeons who are too patient kill people, and don't practice very long.

"Oh nurse, would you please take a moment, when you are done discussing your daughter's cheerleading skills of course, to hand me that clamp so I can stop this guy from bleeding out? Only if it pleases you though, I know how important cheerleading is to you..."


I could not have said this any better and the only thing I will add is I do not have any compunction at all of telling people who are attempting to compromise the production databases under my control and responsibility the exact same thing. Tough s**t if they don't like it or the way I said it either. It's not personal, it's business. It's not their job on the line that will be ultimately standing in the Director or CEO's office explaining why a multi-million dollar production database is down or locked up. It's mine. The buck stops with me because I'm the gatekeeper. I watch the perimeter of my database servers at all times. Bottom line, that is what I get paid well to do. Not win personality contests.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1448531
Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013 6:47 AM
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People skills do not have to mean being a good socializer and spending a lot of time chatting.

To me People Skills are being able to work effectively with people to get the desired results. This includes different cultures.

Some people I work with like to spend 5 minutes at the beginning of the meeting asking how I am, etc. Some like to just get down to business.

Being able to work effectively with all different people types and not be thought of as rude or arrogant is having People Skills.

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Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013 7:02 AM
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joe.eager (5/2/2013)
People skills do not have to mean being a good socializer and spending a lot of time chatting.

To me People Skills are being able to work effectively with people to get the desired results. This includes different cultures.

Some people I work with like to spend 5 minutes at the beginning of the meeting asking how I am, etc. Some like to just get down to business.

Being able to work effectively with all different people types and not be thought of as rude or arrogant is having People Skills.



My thoughts, exactly.

Technical skills come much easier to me than people skills. That's something I've had to working on learning. But learning people skills doesn't mean I've become Miss Chatty Cathy nor does it mean I don't value my technical skills.
Post #1448795
Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013 7:45 AM


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joe.eager (5/2/2013)
People skills do not have to mean being a good socializer and spending a lot of time chatting.




Joe,

I don't think most of us are saying that at all. People tend to confuse statements like "No, you cannot do that on the database.." as being uncooperative and not having people skills, and they are two different things. This is not Burger King, you cannot get it your way all the time. That is a part of being a DBA. We have to enforce rules and perimeters. It's part of our job, whether people like it or not, and usually they don't . However, as a result of this, people tend to confuse not getting their way alot with the other person not having "people skills".


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1448817
Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013 7:52 AM
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TravisDBA (5/2/2013)
joe.eager (5/2/2013)
People skills do not have to mean being a good socializer and spending a lot of time chatting.




Joe,

I don't think most of us are saying that at all. People tend to confuse statements like "No, you cannot do that on the database.." as being uncooperative and not having people skills, and they are two different things. This is not Burger King, you cannot get it your way all the time. That is a part of being a DBA. We have to enforce rules and perimeters. It's part of our job, whether people like it or not, and usually they don't . However, as a result of this, people tend to confuse not getting their way alot with the other person not having "people skills".


I agree that some people can take it that way. For those people I would probably approach it like "That's not possible, due to <insert justifications>. "

I've found that if people are given explanations at a level they understand they tend not to view us as uncooperative. Granted there are always those that will be babies about not getting their way but a tailored message seems to work wonders on many people. It's like I prefer a handwritten christmas card over a boiler plate one.
Post #1448820
Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013 9:16 AM


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joe.eager (5/2/2013)
TravisDBA (5/2/2013)
joe.eager (5/2/2013)
People skills do not have to mean being a good socializer and spending a lot of time chatting.




Joe,

I don't think most of us are saying that at all. People tend to confuse statements like "No, you cannot do that on the database.." as being uncooperative and not having people skills, and they are two different things. This is not Burger King, you cannot get it your way all the time. That is a part of being a DBA. We have to enforce rules and perimeters. It's part of our job, whether people like it or not, and usually they don't . However, as a result of this, people tend to confuse not getting their way alot with the other person not having "people skills".


I agree that some people can take it that way. For those people I would probably approach it like "That's not possible, due to <insert justifications>. "

I've found that if people are given explanations at a level they understand they tend not to view us as uncooperative. Granted there are always those that will be babies about not getting their way but a tailored message seems to work wonders on many people. It's like I prefer a handwritten christmas card over a boiler plate one.


I agree, sometimes I can give the written Christmas card explanation, but don't expect this of me everytime because many times I simply dont have the time to personally explain everything to people at an elementary grade lower-level they might or might not understand anyway. It's not a matter of manners as much as it is simply a matter of other priorities at the time. Also, it is not my job to teach people database basics or T-SQL either. That is not what I was hired for, so any explanation they get is optional on my part anyway. At least according to my boss anyway..


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1448854
Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013 11:59 AM


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David.Poole (4/30/2013)
Thanks Jeff,

I recommend reading two books by Max Eggert on interviews and CVs. They were brilliant, succinct and (lets not deny it) inexpensive.

One of them said there are only really 3 questions in an interview
  • Can they do the job
  • Will they do the job
  • Will they fit in


There are lessons in them for both the interviewer and the interviewee.

Jim is absolutely right. Not everyone is comfortable with "people skills" but at some point you are going to need them.

I would also recommend taking a course on giving presentations. There is a lot to learn in giving presentations that can be applied outside of the presentation arena

  • Understanding and identifying your audience

  • Tips and tricks to make your key points memorable

  • Body language, how to use it to communicate confidence and trustworthyness and how to take control of a situation

  • How to avoid "Death by Powerpoint"



+1

All very good points and very good information




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