A good friend of mine will be hopping on the plane with her husband today towards Japan for a one-way trip. I will miss her not only because she has been a good friend, she also meant a lot for my own company. But what the special part about our friendship was is that we could fight in the office, where we have met in the past, and actually appreciate each other more at that moment.
Well, not directly at that moment. People that usually work with me can form a quick opinion; you can look at my work and judge it by the result, or look at it and judge it by result in its environment. And with that I mean that – yes, I am an interaction designer and not all of my production are always user-friendly. Strange you say? A product is a result of the production-line and the environment it is in. If you have the best architect for the design of a house, but you only give him 2 hours to draw the papers, it will not be his best work. You might be the best programmer in the world, but if your boss pushes for a deadline 2 weeks earlier than your own deadline, chances are that the work will not be perfect. And dealing in an environment where there is more than one person trying to pull the ropes, well, it can get a horrible project then.
And I come from a family that does not mind arguments, heated arguments even. So I can bend a lot along wishes of people, companies etc. In the end, the one responsible for an element is the one who had the most influence in my opinion, unless it is a proven mistake. Some projects are not worth spending so much energy on.
But if something really seems like a mistake, like a donkey I can put my ass in the sand. Sometimes it has also to do with the fact that people rather deal with me than with the owners and bosses of the project, that I usually deal with. But like said, I don’t mind a conflict, a heated discussion at work. Better yet, I applaud it. Here in the US I have noticed that a lot of people are acting their role instead of working it. Nobody wants to say ‘no’ to the boss, and also in meetings the boss is always right? Excuse me? If the boss is so good, then why did he need to hire you? Why did he need your expertise in the company.
Having an argument usually gets people from the actor role into their own self, revealing passion about certain subjects, which brings up real information. If I say no to a certain development, or halt it, I might not see all the point of views. So if you would come up to me and say I need to do something because you want it, doesn’t make sense to me. If during an argument that will follow suddenly your real reasons appear, which might range from anything for budget, business, your personal career, clients or whatever, I can balance out the importance and make a more solid decision. Still, I might decide not to do it, but there is then a better understanding.
One thing about arguments on the work-floor is that you have to know that it is business, not personal. If you ever work with me we might end up in a major discussion. But as soon as it is over, everything should be okay. It is not a personal quarrel. I don’t hate you, and I hope you don’t hate me. It should actually strengthen the relationship.
And with this friend, Rebecca, it has been the same way. I think through the arguments we had at the beginning we actually started up a great working relationship. I hope everything works out perfectly fine for her and her husband in the far, far away.