DBAs and the Art of Diplomacy

  • 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.

  • 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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