Re: Plays well with others

Subject: Re: Plays well with others
From: Bill Swallow <bill_swallow -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 17:46:19 -0800 (PST)

> How do you follow-up with your staff to ensure that
> they're completing the work assigned?

Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to ask. Perhaps
having some sort of meeting every week in which each
writer gives a quick and dirty report of where he/she
is at, including progress, stumbling blocks, options,
and questions for the group on how to solve issues.
Maybe you should keep a time-line/work-line of all
projects for yourself and distribute it (updated)
after every meeting just to show where you understand
them all to be.

> How do you deal with people who are constantly
> grumpy and generally have a bad disposition?

Back in the fraternity we threw them into the shower,
clothes and all. ;) In the workplace, you just have to
confront them and lay it out for them. If the
grumpiness is cutting into productivity and/or
workplace relations for others (as it seems to be for
you), you need to address this. Explain the "problem"
(try not to treat it like a problem - unless it
doesn't go away after several requests. Sometimes you
just have to approach people differently as well.
Don't walk on egg shells for someone who can't take a
healthy dose of constructive criticism, but don't lay
into them like a rabid yak either.

> How would you go about teaching/training a new
> technical writer? Or is it
> something that they must pick up on there own?

Hand-holding at first. I do believe in the "jump in
the fire" method (great, now I have the song in my
head) of learning/adapting to a new position, but it
doesn't work for everyone. Mentoring works well -
assign a senior writer (or yourself) as the junior's
mentor, someone for Jr. to go to for answers and
advice. But there is a certain degree of self-learning
that needs to take place on the part of Jr.

> How would you deal with Sally and James?

Talk to them. Lay it out for them - nicely. Explain
that they must not take constructive criticism
personally, that what feedback you give them is to
benefit the project only. Explain why things need to
be done certain ways. Explain that being
unapproachable they are (knowingly or not) hindering
the project's success. Tell it like it is, and offer
to work with them to help correct the situation if necessary.

Bill Swallow
Information Design & Development Professional
bill_swallow -at- yahoo -dot- com -
List Owner, HATT <>
List Owner, WWP-Users <>
Editor, InFrame Magazine <>
WebWorks Wizard

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