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May 5th, 2017 - written by Kimserey with .
I have been working for more than 8 years in the software industry and have dealt with loads of developers from junior to senior. There are multiple points which can make a successful team mate. One of them is knowing when to have opinions and when to take decisions. One thing I have learnt is that decisions, forcefully agreed on, will most likely not be respected by the team. I also learnt that decisions come from opinions and the way we express opinions will dictate the level of respect team mates attributes to you and the level of trust they place in you. Just like in sport, respect and trust are the most important values to have. Today I would like to explore the different scenarios where we, as developer, should express our opinions and also when should we, as developer, take decisions.
Those are rules that I have followed and which have lend me into building lasting relationships with team mates.
There are two rules which I try to follow as much as I can:
It might seem logical to follow those points but it is actually harder than expected because of human nature.
Most of us are ashamed to admit that we do not have opinions on certain subjects because we fear of being seen as useless. Most of us rather defend personal goals than goals which contribute to the business. Lastly most of us do not wish to understand or make the effort to understand other members opinions but would rather stick with our owns.
In order to be in peace with others and ourselves, we need to think before letting our instincts take control. Opinions are extremely important as they led to decisions. Therefore pay extreme attention to their origins.
When working in a team, decisions and agreements happen all the time.
Similarly to opinions when you do not have any preferences, it is ok to not decide. If you feel uncomfortable letting others take decisions for you, think of it as if you were “delegating the decision to someone else” instead of “letting someone decide for you”.
Now let’s see some situations and how decisions can be agreed on:
The last point is the most important to not break the trust people have placed in you. When people expect you to take a decision, make sure you do everything possible to come up with one. If you can’t, make sure you have a plan on what to discuss to guide you to take one. The key point is to remember that your team mates have their own decisions to take and that this particular one was delegated to you so that it would ease their sides. By not coming up with a decision, you are overloading them which will affect their trust in you.
When working in a team, it is important to trust and respect your team mates. Whether junior, middle level or senior, everyone diserves the same level of respect. Lack of knowledge should never be penalized, therefore we should not be afraid of admitting that “we do not know” or “we have no opinion”. “I do not know” is different than “I do not care”. Respecting team mates and earning their respect is the most important value which one needs to have for her decisions to be followed. Hope you liked this post, let me know if you have similar experiences which I would love to discuss! See you next time!