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DBAs and the Art of Diplomacy


DBAs and the Art of Diplomacy

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notquitexena
notquitexena
SSC Eights!
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The most common white lie of IT: "I'll get on it right away."
notquitexena
notquitexena
SSC Eights!
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David.Poole (8/10/2009)
It depends on the personality of the person you are speaking to.

Some managers view any resistence as dissent to be crushed. A carefully phrased question can start a productive chain of thought. The answer to said question my sooth your fears, achieve nothing or prompt a manager to re-evaluate the situation. 2 out of free aint bad.

Some people like to be told straight but no-one likes to be made to look a fool.


I agree with you whole-heartedly. I can't tell you the number of times I have had to pussy-foot around someone who *claims* they don't want yes-men (but in reality believe they know everything about everything, especially after reading this great article in USA Today).
GSquared
GSquared
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majorbloodnock (8/10/2009)
Wow. Lots in here, all good.

GSquared (8/10/2009)
I'd rather be honest, but non-insulting, personally....I'd be more likely to say....or something like that. It's non-insulting, it's honest, and it puts it in terms that managers can understand.

Yes, with interest. Just because it's honesty doesn't mean it has to be rude. Tact isn't about telling people what they want to hear; it's about honesty with respect. ...


Exactly. We're not politicians.

- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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crookj
crookj
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3 thoughts on this one...

1 - Never jeopardize your integrity!!! Once you do – it is over for you with that company.

2 - No matter how dumb it may seem - we have not been given all the facts. It may not change the level of dumbness but remember, there could be unknown variables associated with the topic. This could include directives from senior management that your manager can not negotiate.

3 - If you can inform the management in a tactful manner of the reasons why it does not make sense, you may enlighten them to a new way of thinking as to minimize these things from occurring in the future. Thus reducing stress for you and helping the management improve their technical decision making process.
Very interesting discussion!

Thanks, Joe
GSquared
GSquared
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jpowers (8/10/2009)
David.Poole (8/10/2009)
It depends on the personality of the person you are speaking to.

Some managers view any resistence as dissent to be crushed. A carefully phrased question can start a productive chain of thought. The answer to said question my sooth your fears, achieve nothing or prompt a manager to re-evaluate the situation. 2 out of free aint bad.

Some people like to be told straight but no-one likes to be made to look a fool.


I agree with you whole-heartedly. I can't tell you the number of times I have had to pussy-foot around someone who *claims* they don't want yes-men (but in reality believe they know everything about everything, especially after reading this great article in USA Today).


When I've had to deal with that kind of thing, I still keep it honest and non-covert. My integrity is more important than my employment.

- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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WHITE_DRAGON999
WHITE_DRAGON999
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White lie's are dangerous.

I once had a problem with a database. The problem was simple, but its one of those times that you simply overlook the main troubling cause. And also one of those days when your mind is not just working to full capacity.

After a few tries, I just said, I cant seem to find what the problem is. Plus, I also said, I am missing something, but dont know what it is.

That was probably the best answer rather than saying, Its all good, something wrong in the application side of things, thats where the problem is, not on the db side.

Saved me from embarrassment, because my colleague was able to resolve it. Though it took him a day too.

But the management was appreciative of my honesty.
Chad Crawford
 Chad Crawford
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For me, I found How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Getting To Yes by Bruce Patton to be invaluable. They taught me more than just how to communicate, but how to work with others who have different goals or perspectives than I have. I really started to view some managers differently after reading the book and was able to get more of what I wanted (the correct technical solution) while still giving them what they needed (the feeling of power and authority) at the same time. Although it doesn't sound like it fits in this thread, understanding someone's perspective and motivation enables communication that is not just diplomatic, but actually leads to mutual benefit. Of course, your mileage may vary (hopefully you don’t have a manager whose need is to see others suffer needlessly….)
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