5 Tips for Managing Shy People

man writing in his diary "Dear diary, sorry to bother you again"Update: If YOU are a shy individual and want to get more outgoing, check out this post from Upgrade Reality.

Now that I’ve described the main types of engineers, I’m going to gear some advice in how to work with them.  First on the chopping block is those shy and quiet engineers who don’t need, or even want to get noticed, or even talk to others.  I think that this category is one of the hardest to deal with because by virtue of their nature, they don’t want to talk to you about problems, improvements, questions, etc.

Throughout high-school, I was constantly berated by my classmates behind the backs of our teachers.  I was called many names that I don’t even care to think about to this day, and as a result, I was extremely introverted.  I had a close-knit group of 5-7 friends who I would hang out with in my spare time, but for the most part, I would stay at home with my family and watch TV or play on the computer.  That all changed when I moved out after high-school with my friend Ryan.  He was a jock (baseball player) and therefore had many friends who I had never met and had no interest in meeting.  They would come to our apartment and watch TV, play video games, and go off-roading with the group.  At first, I felt like my friend was being taken away from me, but as time went on, I realized that these people actually CARED What I had to say!  The names never came, and the more I spoke, the more intently I was received.  In fact, some of my best friends now, are those who came from his friend-pool and hung out with me!  I owe my extroverted nature to that experience. I’m not sure who I’d be if it weren’t for the short 9 months living with him.

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What Makes a Great Engineer?

Guy sitting looking at the camera with text saying "I am hoping that I can be known as a great engineer rather than a sex symbol"So here I’ve been sitting, contemplating how to write this post, and not having any epiphanies as to how to go about it. Shy engineers are easy to discuss, assholes are equally easy.  Ineptitude was a bit ranty, though in my defense, those engineers tend to rant of their own accord, so it seemed to fit.  Now comes the one that should be easiest to write, but is hard to really come up with something intriguing and useful.  So I’m just going to throw it out there for the record, because this is the category in which MOST engineers sit, and the reason engineering actually works in companies.  I’m going to refer to them as A+ Engineers because if they were in school, I’d tend to give them all A pluses for grades.

So, without further ado, here is a list of common traits to good, A+ engineers: Continue reading “What Makes a Great Engineer?”

Wanted! Successful Company Seeking Inept Engineers

chaotica laughing with a slogan on ineptitudeWelcome to the third installment of engineer typologies!  I previously discussed shy and asshole engineers, and now I will discuss incompetent engineers.  In many areas of an organization, incompetence is something that everyone hates, yet for some reason do very little about.  Yes, there is the necessary due process that must come in order to remove someone from an organization, but not always is the situation so obvious as simply seeing someone and removing them.  In fact, the type I’m referring to today is that person who comes into the interview before they are hired wearing a three-piece suit, ready and waiting for the questions to begin.

They show you a face that is truly telling of their obvious worth and they have the charisma to back it up.  They tell you all of the skills they know they are excellent at, adequately answer all questions posed to them, and then half-way through, you begin to drool (figuratively of course), thinking of the great things you can put them into to gain your team some well-needed clout with upper management.  So you hire them. Continue reading “Wanted! Successful Company Seeking Inept Engineers”

Asshole Engineers Tear Teams Apart!

Calvin sitting behind a "A swift kick in the butt" stand

This is the second post regarding personality types.  In my prior post regarding shy engineers, I mentioned some of the problems with being a too-shy engineer with respect to your advancement capabilities.  In this post, I want to broach the subject of the completely reverse side of that coin.  In fact, I have to admit there will likely be a bit of cynicism you’ll be able to detect as I write.  I’m referring to those I would like to call assholes.  Now many people have written about assholes, though most of them are referring to managers.  Bob Sutton has even come out with “The No Asshole Rule” which I highly recommend you read, regardless of your level in your organization.

There are a few features common to asshole engineers:

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A Call to Shy Engineers: Yell if you have to!

Boy looking around a corner because he's shyI have interacted with many an engineer in my four years working as one.  And one of the most fascinating aspects of meeting and seeing how they work is how incredibly different those engineers’ personalities are!  I’m not speaking of extra-work interests, but rather how different people respond to similar situations based on prior experiences and learning.  Communication is something I always spout a need to improve, and responses to stimuli show that it is definitely something that needs to be undertaken in order to gain advantage and respect in the workplace.

This is going to be a multi-part blog to discuss different personality types and their effects on perception by management. Continue reading “A Call to Shy Engineers: Yell if you have to!”

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Approached About Favors

man on his knees begging

What can be worse for a manager than to have someone come into their office trying to weasel out a favor?  Ok, I’m sure that any type of disciplinary action is worse, and even layoffs, but the idea of someone going out of their way to try and push an agenda of theirs onto you is definitely up in that top pet peeve list.  I have seen managers go from both extremes of pushing an employee out of their office when they realized what they were trying to do, to falling into it hook, line, and sinker, and then many somewhere in between.

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