RE: flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos

Subject: RE: flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: 15 Mar 2004 20:21:19 GMT

Hopefully, your new boss' current instructions are part
of a longterm plan to assess the situation before making
process and procedure changes. If not, then your biggest
problem will be that your manager is not managing. Your
boss is right in that you should not be trying to "impose
conventions without getting group consensus." That's his
job. In an ideal world, writers would trust editors and
be guided by their input, but if that doesn't happen, it's
the manager's responsibility to verify that the editor's
judgement is sound, explain to the writers why it should
be accepted, and if necessary explain to the writers that
there must be no "power struggle" between writers and
editors because the power resides in the manager and that
after hearing and considering input from all parties, the
manager has made the decision. Consensus building is a
laudable goal, but at the end of the day, a department is
not a democracy, and a company's product documentation is
not supposed to reflect the "personal style" of each
individual preparing it.

What's your "best strategy?" Follow your new boss'
instructions to the letter, present yourself to the
writers as a resource for their benefit, provide them
with "suggested edits" that follow the best writing
practices you know, and just move on if they don't
follow them. It's not your responsibility to police
anything until your boss decides to pin a badge on you.

Gene Kim-Eng

------- Original Message -------
On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 13:02:37 -0500 Wright, Lynne wrote:

We have a new boss that seems to trust my judgement, but who has also been
urging me to be kinda gentle on people, since he is trying to reverse a
history of conflict and power struggles amongst the writers.

So what's the best strategy? Do I play nice for awhile, and try to build
trust and respect, while giving time for my new boss to realize how lost my
naysayers are, so that he will eventually back me in pushing for higher
standards? Or do I stick to my principles and edit according to normal
standards, and if they can't handle it, too bad?


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