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It is a constant struggle to deal with people who use emotion to make decisions, and will happily "throw you under a bus" just to get what they want. The desire for praise over doing the right thing. People who actually have the capacity to hate, then will act on that to make themselves feel better for 2 minutes.
When dealing with peers or subordinates, tact is important when giving criticism. Focus on the specific thing(s) that need to be improved, offer helpful suggestions, and don't make it personal.
In my experience, those who needed honesty the most were senior management and executives. Too many people were reluctant to tell them sad truths or engage them in debate. They were also susceptible to being bamboozled by technical people who promised things that couldn't be delivered or touted designs as if they'd already been coded and proven, when in reality they'd been prototyped at best, and it was debatable whether they could ever be productized.
Do you want honest, or nice?" The rest is just in how you deliver it.
It's possible to be honest and nice. Up to a point. When honesty demands that the message is "you people are a bunch of incompetent morons", well, nice becomes something that falls more into the "will I lose my job if I'm honest" category than actually being nice.
honey the codewitch wrote:
But you know what? You're going to get the truth.
Rarely do people actually want to hear the truth.
honey the codewitch wrote:
None of this is intended as judgment. Just honest observation..
Having been downsized because I was honest about management and they didn't want to hear it(they asked). I find myself now being more careful in my wording. I have the is it worth my job conversation with myself quite often. Don't get me wrong here. I like my job alot. But I won't ever again be in the position of having to look for work just because some manager got her/his panties/underwear in a knot because they couldn't hand some well worded but honest feedback.
I am at a point in my life where I know it won't matter tomorrow and won't make a difference in the short or long run. So keeping my mouth shut is the best for me. I look out for #1.
That being said. I think most people say they would rather have honesty. But also most people don't like honesty when it is said to them. And if you word it in a way that isn't honest they will think you are talking about someone else. Most people are not introspective enough to see themselves for who they truly are. I think programmers for the most part are not these people.
To err is human to really elephant it up you need a computer
I agree, and I hate being put in the position, but so often I'm left with the choice if letting them entertain something that will fail (and I'll inevitably be held responsible for anyway) or hoping that if I tell them the truth, they'll listen so we can actually make the project work.
I'm the first person to argue that logic is overrated, but the more I deal with the frustration that is other people the more I wish it wasn't.
Logic doesn't persuade most people most of the time. I've found if you want to persuade someone of something the most expedient and indeed effective way to do so is to attach some sort of reward to the belief, like membership in a social group (people want to belong - what this means in real world terms is there is strength in numbers), or financial reward "i pay you to agree with me"), or otherwise, getting them what they want. Another thing that can work is emotional appeal.
Logic is good for - if you're good at this sort of thing - verifying *one's own* beliefs against our ego, that constructs them most often in defense of our id. So we have to check them to make sure they're sound because for most people most of the time - we don't arrive at our beliefs empirically, even if we think we do. We can check our beliefs with logic though. The bottom line is logic helps oneself but rarely helps other people.
In the 19th century John Stuart Mill wrote as much in "The Oppression of Women" - in so many words.
Logic tells me to consult a map first if one plans to head out and don't know how to get where one plans to go.
Most seem to disagree with me on that point.
Of course... Don't you have GPS?
If something has a solution... Why do we have to worry about?. If it has no solution... For what reason do we have to worry about?
Help me to understand what I'm saying, and I'll explain it better to you
Rating helpful answers is nice, but saying thanks can be even nicer.
One of the fundamental requirements for human communication to succeed is the ability to express yourself in a way that your audience will understand. Many programmers revel in their technical expertise and the fact that their typical audience doesn't understand them. The pathetic truth is, their ego-stroking from this view is utterly worthless. If you can't or are unwilling to communicate with others about what you are doing for them, and make the effort to do so in a manner that is understandable, then it doesn't matter how clever your code is, you are a failure as a programmer, and should exit the field.
Software Zen: delete this;
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 18:00 Last Update: 22-Jun-21 17:42