In her Personality Matters series, Leslie Sachs examines the personalities and people issues that are found in technology groups from cross-functional, high-performance teams to dysfunctional matrix organizations.
Am I feeling threatened?
As a psychologist, I have learned to listen to my inner voice. If I have an extreme reaction to something that I hear then I often ask myself whether or not this is because some part of me is touched deeply by what is being discussed. I recall witnessing someone explain an event that occurred to two Police Officers. It was disconcerting to see the cops unmoved by what was certainly a distressing event. But the truth was that these Cops were being professional and maintaining their objectivity. In evaluating best practices we need to do the same thing. If we cannot manage handling our evaluation in this way then we need to consider why we are feeling threatened or otherwise impacted emotionally by what we see and hear. It is just not possible to do our best when our perspective becomes subjectively influenced.
Keeping the Ego in Check
We all take pride in our work. Unfortunately, sometimes we let our ego take over where our professional pride leaves off. Its important to be aware of when we are responding to a given situation based on an underlying desire to protect or improve our image. Of course, it is quite natural to want to always project the most positive presentation, but a CM guru’s primary objective should always be to implement best practices that will further the team and project, not to enhance his own glory.
Touching the Creativity Within Us
Artists, Musicians and Actors are expected to show creativity. The truth is that creating a good release management process also involves considerable creativity as well. Understanding all of the required steps and why we are making mistakes involves touching a part of us that is both creative and pragmatic. Appreciating and nurturing our “artistic souls” will enable us to have more of those spontaneous “ah-hah” moments in which we intuitively sense how all the pieces fit together.
Being Generous with our Best Practices
Many people are willing to donate time and money to a good cause. But the first time that a colleague comes with a question, we may give only an adequate answer – knowing full well that our colleague is likely to stumble while trying to implement our suggested best practice without more specific support. Some people are willing to be more kind with sharing best practices than others. Those interested in truly spreading best practices recognize that full and open disclosure of one’s own experiences speeds the learning curve for others. Striving to be a role model for proper implementation of CM best practices is one of the most effective methods for motivating others to share your mission.
Sharing Best Practices involves being honest with ourselves and challenging our own personalities in ways that may be uncomfortable. But just like running a 20 mile marathon takes courage and hard work, sharing hard won best practices does as well. We all need to strengthen our awareness of our own personality traits and how we are impacted by others. If you can sharpen these skills then your success will increase greatly. You will actually become your own best practice!