Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Inflicting

There's what you do, and there's what effect it has on others. This happens all over:

You're in a bad mood. You can snap at everyone and take your funk out on them... Or you can put your head down and work extra-hard on being polite when you do have to interact with people.

You want to start gathering information about what kinds of errors you're seeing in the field, and you've come up with a brilliant tagging mechanism. You can walk around asking people to go back and tag their old bugs.... Or you can write something that attempts to tag it and simply fix it.

The point is that there are two sides to most things: what's going on, and what the effect is on other people. In general, what's going on is internal to you, or to your team, or to your group, or to your company. The effect it has is something that you can control. You can do things to impact people in a positive way, or you can do things that inflicts your changes on them (that would be bad).

So think about what's going on, yes. Also think about how you're reacting to other people, and the experiences you're asking them to have. Affect, don't inflict.

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