September 10, 2002
Hypocritical politeness

In A Culture of Candor, Phil Windley talks about the problem of a culture where being gentle to people's feelings is more important than the truth.

This is not the case where I am working at the moment, not really, but the right balance can be hard to find. I can be rather, uh, blunt at times, and when I first joined my company it seems that this was interpreted as arrogance. Now people know me, and they are aware that I'm not really arrogant, and that I know what I am talking about at least some of the time, the problem has gone away.

In my current team, discussions can be robust at times. That's OK, I think - we are all opinionated, and need to put our points across, but we all respect one another's abilities.

Our manager Paul finds it all very disturbing, though, worrying that all this ranting meant that we weren't getting anywhere. (Mark and I are particularly amenable to a good rant.) Now he tries to leave us alone to get on with it, and no longer tries to 'facilitate' our meetings. He's still unhappy, though, and I can see why - throw the wrong personality into our team, and it could turn into a real problem.

Posted to Software development by Simon Brunning at September 10, 2002 09:47 AM
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