Some of the best training I have had has not been technical. It has been soft skills related. I learned an important concept called "managing up". This is where you manage your manager and boy does your life get easier when you do that one right.
I wrote DBAs vs Developers: A Sad Tale of Unnecessary Conflict[/url] based on my experiences.
Human behaviour is driven by a number of things and we have to factor in fear and the fight or flight response into it.
I've said it before but being in a situation where you are accountable for something (you are going to get blamed) but are not responsible for that thing (you don't have the authority to stop it happening) is horrible.
The frustration of not getting your point across, much less understood is awful. The fear comes from knowing that failing to do so will result in you and your colleagues getting the 3am and weekend phone calls while the protagonists will be sleeping like babies or in the pub. Having been saddled with yet another brick albatross you have to act as nursemaid hoping that the next one at least allows you to catch your breath before hitting you in the face.
If you are the sole representative of your discipline in a team charged with ensuring that your discipline is enacted then you have to be strong enough to hold your own against a team. The stronger the team the stronger you have to be. In such an arms race even the smallest adversary gets labelled as arrogant if they fight against the consensus. Be kind to a QA guy, they are further around the S bend even than DBAs.
That it is why we have to talk to the right people. A discussion with the lead developer is going to be more effective than a fight with the entire team. If you can't win the lead developer around then you stand no chance with the team.
I think it needs to be recognised that while we have a duty to present our messages in a way that is conducive to being received the other side has to be prepared to meet us half way.
I've been mulling over people's approaches to databases for some time and I think that our role has to change fundamentally. People are beginning to realise the bleeding obvious that data is actually worth something and lots more people and business roles now have to have their hands on that data. We simply can't lock it all down, protect it with bureaucracy and police it. We don't have the man-power or time and it is contrary to what business people are actually trying to achieve.
People's roles demand that they use the data so they will find a way to get that data and to use it whether we help or hinder them. Therefore our role has to evolve towards a mentoring and educating role. I don't think we are in a position to issue "Thou shalt's and Thou Shalt Not's" any more if ever we ever had the luxury of doing so.