You know what we really need? Better interpersonal communication

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item You know what we really need? Better interpersonal communication

  • Excellent editorial.

    I am an Aspie so life is one long foot in the mouth experience. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that something I am passionate about has low to zero interest from other people, even when I perceive they should have a professional interest.

    It's so easy to look back at the things that should have been said and the things that should have remained unsaid. That is why your point about taking a step back, a deep breath and buy yourself time to think through your response, is so poignant.

    A few of my mistakes still give me nightmares.

    There's a scene in the beginning of Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals where Knut is asked if he thinks his superior is wrong. "Oh no sir, I am suggesting a way in which you can be even more right"

  • David is once again spot on. Especially in his opinion on Ben's editorial.

    I try to debate rather than argue my point, however, I know that there have been times where I have held such a strong opinion that I may have been perceived as being arrogant. Maybe I simply was. I hope and/or wish that I wasn't but there is an element of what is done is done. Of course, just because I cannot change the past doesn't stop me taking it into consideration with future interactions.

    Another position to consider is how we react when we are met with such behaviour. We all slip up occassionally and some ways to tackle it are less inflamatory than others. Perhaps a private message would give the author of such a posting a chance to redeem themselves. Or a potentially calming "I can see your point of view but have you considered..." style of response.

    Perhaps we should not only consider our tone when we risk being arrogant etc. but also our tone when someone else has slipped up.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • In my dealings with IT staff this seems to be more an issue with DBAs than any other group (developers, help desk, infrastructure etc). Why is that? Is it because DBAs spend more of their time speaking with other technical folk who are more thick-skinned, and the rest of IT speak more often to "normal" people and therefore practise their people skills more often?

    Is this common or is it just my experience?

  • David.Poole - I am an Aspie so life is one long foot in the mouth experience.

    Thanks Ben, this is sure food for thought. David, I think my foot has grown into my mouth already especially with my wife. Things are just going do well and then one day I misunderstand what she says and whammm!!! I am in trouble. Opened my mouth to wide so my foot could get in. The only way to get this right is practise, practise and practise.

    Manie Verster
    Developer
    Johannesburg
    South Africa

    I am happy because I choose to be happy.
    I just love my job!!!

  • I think we all know the personality type that works well technically!

    I'm definitely no different. Professionally I can muddle through, causing a reasonable minimum of offence, though too much yakking and being on display will still drain me as much as ever. Personally I struggle quite a lot though and am always eating humble pie for my overly vehement statements and fiery debating style. I'm trying to improve though!

  • manie (9/8/2016)


    ...The only way to get this right is practise, practise and practise.

    This is your advice for getting in trouble with ones wife??? :laugh:

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Thanks, a timely reminder.

    I should set this as a recurring task.

  • funbi (9/8/2016)


    In my dealings with IT staff this seems to be more an issue with DBAs than any other group (developers, help desk, infrastructure etc).

    I'd agree with this, and I am a DBA. Most of the DBAs I have worked with have been fine to me, but quite unpleasant/dismissive towards other people. I haven't been able to figure out why, but it's great for me because I can pass for "normal" so it's easy to come across well in job interviews by comparison ;-).

    I also agree that the tone of this board (and others) can be quite off-putting to new people. Sometimes I think the tone is justified, though: I'm thinking of all those times when a regular takes the time to post a really long, helpful piece of advice that will save some stranger's bacon, only to have their efforts barely acknowledged (if at all). A lot of people could do with learning to say thank you. (This then perpetuates, because there are repeat offenders whose threads I won't even bother answering any more, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.)

    Sometimes though, I think the tone is not justified at all. I've seen breathtakingly rude responses to perfectly politely-worded questions, and I think that's a massive shame.

  • Well said.

    This should apply to more than just our work environment.:-)

  • Spot on Ben. Ditto ditto. +1

    I too would like to treat others as I myself would wish to be treated. The attitude that "I will happily treat others the way I myself could bear to be treated without losing my rag." just doesn't cut it, in my opinion.

    That said, I still feel like a learner in this field.

    Especially important to step back from the situation and my immediate reaction to it, so I don't just stick my foot in my mouth. I once felt it necessary to write a rather clear email to my boss about something with which I disagreed. I poured out my unedited thoughts, then stopped, deleted the whole text and started over. Having got rid of the metaphorical bile, I found the second version to be completely different in tone and far more balanced. I edited it slightly, then hit send.

    My boss' reaction was blunt and reactive, but after he had had a chance to consider it, he came back and apologized.

    So yes, step back - the life you save may well be your own. The approach "if it feels right, do it" is incredibly bad advice in this context.

    MarkD

  • I used to be surprised by how many different ways communication could be understood. I started looking at it dynamically.

    When I'm in improvement mode, I don't look at the communication as an absolute good or bad, but relative to how much of it I get right, and am I improving in that measure.

    412-977-3526 call/text

  • Beatrix Kiddo (9/8/2016)


    funbi (9/8/2016)


    In my dealings with IT staff this seems to be more an issue with DBAs than any other group (developers, help desk, infrastructure etc).

    I'd agree with this, and I am a DBA. Most of the DBAs I have worked with have been fine to me, but quite unpleasant/dismissive towards other people. I haven't been able to figure out why, but it's great for me because I can pass for "normal" so it's easy to come across well in job interviews by comparison ;-).

    I also agree that the tone of this board (and others) can be quite off-putting to new people. Sometimes I think the tone is justified, though: I'm thinking of all those times when a regular takes the time to post a really long, helpful piece of advice that will save some stranger's bacon, only to have their efforts barely acknowledged (if at all). A lot of people could do with learning to say thank you. (This then perpetuates, because there are repeat offenders whose threads I won't even bother answering any more, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.)

    Sometimes though, I think the tone is not justified at all. I've seen breathtakingly rude responses to perfectly politely-worded questions, and I think that's a massive shame.

    I should have added the obligatory #notalldbas 🙂

    Strange then, if that is what you have found too - I wonder what it is that sets the DBA apart? Maybe it's just easier for users & developers to make DBAs' lives difficult which in turn makes them more abrasive to those outside the DBA inner circle (although I have seen some completely unfounded arrogance and attitude also). I think anyone would be miffed by ingratitude though! This is common on non-technical forums as well.

  • Thanks for the post Ben. I think this topic is super important for folks in all areas of work but especially in the technical field. When communicating we need to enter into the other persons perspective. I completely agree that we need to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". That is sound advice in all areas of life.

  • Beatrix Kiddo (9/8/2016)


    funbi (9/8/2016)


    In my dealings with IT staff this seems to be more an issue with DBAs than any other group (developers, help desk, infrastructure etc).

    I'd agree with this, and I am a DBA...

    The same is often thought of us Devs (including by us Devs). We are close relations 😉

    EDIT: Too many quotes!!!

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

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