Thursday, 11 August 2016

Its not Them, its US

 I usually put a negative rating, when a candidate uses "They" to refer to their existing companies. I have this issue even when the project teams across refer to each other as "They". It can be Dev is working on it, or QA is testing it but it never needs to be "They" are working on it or "They" have done it wrong. Its US, WE and if cant be that then a very fundamental question needs be asked.

Today I interviewed a girl for a QA position, I asked her what does your company do... and she started with "They" are into.... then each time I asked her a question about the team, product, project I hear this word "They". Towards the end of the interview I asked her a question "When you refer to your company as They is it because you are quitting or is it because you don't like them?" her answer matched her experience and hence there is no point in talking about it.

I always see this as an issue, if a team member starts referring to another team in 3rd person, or for themselves. In any case such reference just says you are connected enough. I also analyzed that the one who starts calling other team members as "They" sooner or later converts into a Loner, Anti-Team member.

Anti-Team attitude drags good from happening, it drags you into political war, it drags into un-productive conversations and debates. It yields US vs Them stream in your team, a high risk for a working team.

The "They" thing also occurs when someone does not want to be counted as a part of the team, at times to not be linked to a failure, embarrassment or has a feeling of superiority if not inferiority. Next time when one of your team member use "They" for another, stop them. Next time you interview a candidate who says "They" for their existing team / organization educate them.

For life is too large to accommodate your own as WE instead of THEY and it is too short to make it US vs THEM.