Wednesday, November 1, 2006

handling non-conforming programmers

How I handle non-conforming programmers was similiar to other small team managers. I am not a gifted leader or a fast learner in the area of leadership and motivation.

Top of my strategies -- i tell myself to focus on understanding each person's perceptions, habits, preferences.

I tell myself to try to be more flexible. A leader need to be less flexible with the key performance measurements -- top priorities. Low priority issues like punctuality, coding style, dress code.... I can be flexible. I think these priorities affects my relationship with non-conforming programmers.

I avoid using pressure techniques. Some friends suggested that i learn to be faster at identifying stubborn, greedy and selfish programmers early and not waste time trying to preach and convert them into more cooperative team players.

Some small team leaders advise me to adopt a different style. I think they keep a bigger (and healthy) distance from the team members, which help them maintain some status of authority. I too consider status of authority important, but i don't achieve that by being a bit "aloof". I think these leadership styles can affect the relationships with non-conforming programmers.

Overall I now think i'm more influenced by Buddhism than Christianity or Sun Tze's art of war. I actually followed the rule "assume everyone to be unselfish, fair, cooperative until proven otherwise". I think Buddhists are often considered naive. How could I have a bit of Buddha's wisdom?

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About Me

New York (Time Square), NY, United States
http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanbin