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2002 Jun 27 20:36

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Re: [vox] Dealing with your boss
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Re: [vox] Dealing with your boss




On Wed, 26 Jun 2002, Mark K. Kim wrote:

> A non-tech question but important for working techies...

Its important for working non-techies as well.
 
> How do you guys deal with your bosses? 

Forked tongue and malice mostly...

>  How do you deal with conflicts
> that arise from your differences (you being a techie and they being not,
> or maybe they *thinking* they are but they being not?)  Especially since
> not all technies are very good with words, explaining oneself can be very
> difficult.

Techies are not always good at understanding the other side as well
sometimes.  Both sides often miss the mark in commincation occasionally,
and at the end of the day, a lot will depend on temperment (case in point,
my current VP is amzingly pragmatic and easy to talk to, the same cannot
be said for others I have worked under).

Often, upper management suffers from any number of info-processing
deficiencies, and geeks suffer from data filtering deficiencies:

1. UM - lack of vision (won't understand that you can use jpegs and html
instead of powerpoint, won't let go of established ideas/risk-averse)
and assumptive in their org-chart superiority ("I know better because I
know better")...often inefficient.

2. Geeks - scattered (often feels the need to overexplain when only a
rarified version is required or useful to the UM) and assumptive (assumes
technical superiority when often solving a problem is more than just
technical - it's organizational and financial as well, both from a cost
and reporting perspective), and they explain/debate things down to the
minutae (the boss usually doesnt care about that much minutae...that's why
YOU are there. He/She just wants the juicy bits to wrap their brain
around...)

As I said, a lot will depend on temperment as well.  If you have someone
who believes in success by getting his/her employees to succeed (therefore
creating loyalty and a desire to perform), the manner in which the manager
and the emp will work together will be diametrically different from
someone who believes in simply squeezing every ounce of blood and sweat
from his/her emps in a sign of overbearing despotism.

Being able to figure out/divine from your boss what types of info they
want/need and how to present said info in a way that is positive (think of
it as peer to peer lobbying) is a skill in and of itself.  Next is
knowing that if a dispute looms, when to pick your battles and in which
aren to fight them (i.e. do you keep it between the 2 of you, the
department, the company> should i involve HR? should it be cc'd to someone
who also has a stake in it that can help you either overtly or
covertly? is the point really worth the headache?*)

* meaning - if his/her way is really fucked, can you do more by doing it
their way and documenting the inefficiencies, rather than cubicle trench
warfare?

Hows that for a start...

> This question sounds very slash-dot-ish...  But I wanted to ask it here
> first.
> 
> You know, a discussion like this maybe should be taken off the archive, or
> maybe posted anonymously on the archive.  Is there a way to turn off
> archiving or hiding poster names?

Why? As long aas you dont name names or point fingers but talk in
'hypothetical' situations, whats the prob? 

Then again, I've never backed out of a fight with management when I needed
to so if any of them read this they wouldn't be surprised anyway...

z

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