Re: The Covert Interview

Subject: Re: The Covert Interview
From: Chuck Blessing <cjb -at- IGLOU -dot- IGLOU -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 1995 02:45:27 GMT

* In a message to ALL on 01-06-95, SCLUFF -at- VAX -dot- MICRON -dot- COM said the following:

S> I think that "being ready" is largely a matter of working hard to build
> relationships of trust with those people you provide service for and need
> information from. By "relationship of trust" I mean doing more than just
> making small talk about the weather; I mean making genuine effort to work
> well with people and I mean sincerely respecting those people in a way that
> reciprocates respect for you. Relationships of trust are built through
> constant awareness and genuine effort. True, the actual activities that
build
> these relationships might indeed be simple (such paying a compliment), but if
> such activities are genuine, they can be very helpful.

I've just recently come over from the other side (systems
analyst/programmer for ten years) and I am currently working on a user
guide for a software system my company is developing. Having been on the
other side, I can highly recommend the attitude that Scott and some others
in this discussion have been espousing.

It is important to build up a feeling of mutual respect for each other's
work. When you use little tricks to squeeze the information out of the
developer or engineer, it may seem to work at first but your source may
come to realize what you are up to and feel that he or she is being
manipulated which will hinder future cooperation.

Taking a genuine (literally) interest in the SME's work is important. The work
they do is difficult and challenging - but then so is your own. By
discussing their work with them in interested and perceptive conversation,
the topic will naturally at times drift to your own work, some of the
problems you may be having and, as a result, a relationship and mutual
respect for each other's work will develop.

On a related subject, some others in this discussion have expressed what an
improvement it is when their office is in the middle of the development
area. This immerses them on a daily basis in the subject matter they are
writing about. This constant exposure and interaction with the
development team, or better yet being a part of the team with the same
manager, is critical for developing relationships of mutual respect.
Exchanging information will then just become a natural and casual part of
the daily routine.

Chuck

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~ SPEED 2.0f #1592 ~

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