I took a break last week to read over the last six months’ of Fellowstream blogs.  I didn’t know what this blog was going to be about when I first started.  I knew I wanted to talk about what I’d learned as a project manager for the Torque game engine series.   I knew I wanted to give people a bit of my knowledge about teamwork, some insights into launching a business (it’s scary!), and also provide sneak peeks of what Avalon Labs is cooking up for Fellowstream.

What I didn’t know is how preachy I would sound.

So yes, first off, I want to say the previous posts are preachy.  It’s not because I intended them to be.  I just feel passionate about things like having the right team attitude, understanding the people you work with, and giving credit where credit is due.

The truth is, though, I’m a very changing, flexible human being.  I’ve had beliefs in the past, very strong ones, that I’ve traded in for new ones after experience and observation.  I used to believe, for example, that managers should always tell their employees everything about their decision-making process.  And while I still think they should whenever they can, I can think of someone situations now, after managing a software team, it might be better to wait until after the decision is made to talk to a team.

(Side note: Why did I change my mind?  Because sometimes needlessly throwing people into turmoil just makes them worry, they can’t do their job, and they may not be able to do anything about an external event affecting the team.  You save a lot of team grief, as a manager, if you have  a plan of action before delivering some types of bad news.)

So what I’m saying is, obviously, I don’t know everything.  The day I quit learning and adapting is the day I stop living.  That’s not a cop-out for saying I can be hypocritical.  I have a set of core moral values that will never change (i.e. you should always treat your co-workers like people, not like one-time use “resources”).  I can and will, however, change my mind if the proper argument/life experience/reasoning comes its way though.  This might seem like a bad thing in some ways, like I’m wishy-washy, but overall, I think opening your mind is a good thing.  It lets the people around me know I’m listening, even if I have a strong initial dislike of an idea at first blush.   And maybe, just maybe, if I do change my mind, it might be for the better.

Until then, I’ll still keep talking about my strong beliefs and observations in this blog.  But I do hope if any readers disagree, they take me up on it.

-Deborah Fike

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