Join LinkedIn Learning Developer Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Raising concerns, part of Career Clinic: Developer Insights.
(gentle music) - So I'm not always good at this. I do suffer from anxiety and sometimes I'm probably not in the best frame of mind to raise concerns. I think everybody just, you know, you need to know yourself, you need to know your limitations and, you know, things can get really emotional, and you know, if everybody's keyed up, then, you know, nothing productive is happening.
What I have learned is, you know, you have to stop, and get some space before you raise concerns, and then, you know, once you're ready to raise concerns, do it in the, you know, I have a tendency to want to come up with solutions, and this how it should be, you know, try and making it a little bit more of an open discussion is always key. - So when it comes to raising concerns, there's a topic about psychological safety. Google has done actually some fairly extensive research on this, and there should always be space to raise concern.
So if you're in a situation where someone else is raising a concern, the best you can do is listen. You give them the space to express that concern. When you want to raise a concern yourself, my recommendation, my personal protocol is don't just say this isn't going to work. Or I don't like that. That is a dead-end comment that is not very productive. If you see a problem, propose a solution, or at least an approach. Say I'm worried that this direction might cause an issue for us, here's why and here's some things that I think we can try to mitigate that issue.
That's what we do as software developers and architects, is we look at all the different trade-offs that, you know, there's many, many different ways to skin a cat in this industry. It's about trade-offs and understanding what those trade-offs can lead to, and in many cases, it's just about raising that up, and collaboratively deciding what the best combination of solutions might be. - You never know who's gonna find the problem that brings down the computers. Who finds the problem that causes you to have to recall something, you know, your, the phone that you just worked on because it had a bug in it, and it can't be fixed, they all gotta go back to the shop.
You know, the thing that I would always say is that any time you have a concern about something, make sure that one, that it doesn't sound like an attack on that person who built the thing. Instead that it's a concern about hey, this piece of software I'm concerned about it, because, you know, we've had a lot of trouble getting it through QA, we've barely got it through, don't we want to sit on it some more? Make the concern about the thing, and not the people, and people will tend to listen to you better. And the other thing is that it does help sometimes if you have some mentors at the company that you work at, because maybe the older person, the person that's been around, they don't necessarily need to be older than you in age, but just older than you at being at the company, can either give you advice on how to get your concerns heard, or take you to the person who will listen more.
- Everywhere we have problems. And everywhere we see and we do not want to talk about them. So the first thing that you do when you wanna raise a concern is stand up and build up the courage to speak about it. That's the first thing that you ever do. Because most of the people look at the problems around themselves, and they know that it is a problem, but they do not even want to talk about it. Second is when you're in an organization or when you're working in a team, the correct way to raise a concern is to first approach a hierarchy. The way you tell about the problem, you have to tell how it's affecting people.
How it is becoming a concern and talk in such a manner that the person is going to realize that it's not a complaint, it's a serious problem, that's affecting the entire work environment possibly, and it has to be resolved as soon as possible. And you'll have to present facts, you'll have to present proofs, that this is what is, this is what has happened in the the past, which is now hampering everything around us. So we need to resolve this ASAP. But I'm absolutely sure that the person sitting across the table is definitely going to understand and help you resolve the problem.