“Your enquiries frustrate the hell out of me”
Friday, September 5, 2003
I would classify my style of communication as “get to conflict sooner rather than later.” A radio DJ once classified engineering abilities as a series of personality flaws that are accidentally useful in today’s IT industry and, arguably, he’s right. For most folks that have to work with me, it’s generally hard at first, but eventually you either love me or hate me (and I continuously work to tip that percentage towards the former : ).
However, it’s the rare individual that can see past someone’s personal communications style and still pull out the value. Alan Cooper is one such person. I was reading one of his books and was so lost that I called and blamed him and his parents. He straightened me out by letting politely me know that he book wasn’t even trying to solve my problems and therefore it’s not surprising that it didn’t. Further, he ended his email like this:
“PS. Your enquiries frustrate the hell out of me. That’s why they are good and I want you to keep making them. If I growl at you, well, that’s my problem. Not yours.”
I don’t know if other people would appreciate Alan encouraging my behavior, but it’s still cool to know that such tolerance exists in the world. : )