My Biggest Mistake

Some time ago I identified one the biggest mistake I’ve made in working with colleagues:

I provided a lack of explanation and emotional background for my decisions.

I’ve brought a person directly to the top of thoughts in a very fast way.


  1. I thought that my decisions are clear enough even without explanation
  2. I didn’t want to waste the time of me and colleagues to explain the whole context and the way I’ve used to make my decision
  3. In many cases, a key part of decision making is based on personal emotions and feelings. I decided to hide this subjective part for some reason: my vision was that decisions made based on emotions and feelings are subjective and will be not supported by colleagues. Another reason: it’s usual in our world to hide emotions. Why? It’s a good topic for the next post.

I used the same approach for a long time before I’ve realized:

  1. Colleagues are struggling with me because my decisions were unclear for them. They didn’t make the same logical path to the decision. As a result, all my results were not natural, but synthetic from their perspective. They didn’t trust me. Now: I’m proving my personal logical path to the decision I made. It’s amazing: people understand me much better. They don’t argue over my decision but provide logical counter-arguments against some points of my logical path.
  2. It’s become clear to me that if I’ll save time during an explanation of my decision or idea, later I’ll need much more time and emotions for a long discussion and arguing. Now: I don’t care how much time I need for explanation, I put this decision to my colleagues: they need to decide to hear my explanation or stop me if they catch the idea.
  3. Emotions and personal feelings play a big role in many decisions. Avoiding them in explanation makes the result not clear. People will just don’t trust it. From the other side hiding of emotions is not good for your emotional state. It’s depreciating for yourself. Psychology says the right thing: don’t hesitate to describe your emotions. Now: I’m honest with my colleagues: I put my emotions and feelings in the logical path to my decision. And it’s awesome. I’m totally clear to them and it’s much easy for them to support my decision and ideas.

As a short summary if you want to see people understanding you and following your ideas:

Don’t hesitate to use the time of your colleagues for honest explanation of your decisions.

Also, the idea can look like this

To understand you, people should go through the path you’ve made.

Open problem:

If you always provide a whole path to the solution to your colleagues, remember:

It’s just YOUR path and it was just YOUR efforts to build it.

Sometimes the problem should stay unexplained to let people decide which path to choose or build their own and get new experience. Don’t take away such an opportunity from your colleagues.

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Photo by George Becker on

Negative feedbacks

For the last years, I’ve received multiple negative feedbacks about colleagues whom I’ve planned to involve or already involved in my projects.

Feedbacks were provided by experienced managers and it was logically to trust them, but I’ve made another decision:

To build my own opinion I’ve decided to work with people at first. Even more, I gave them an area for creativity and decision making. I gave them my trust.

After some time it demonstrated that people I’ve selected made a great work!

Yes – they made mistakes.

Yes – they have weaknesses.

But when I’ve found the right work for them, their positive qualities became apparent and weaknesses became uncritical. Finally, having freedom for creativity they achieved a wonderful result. Their interest in the work and the desire to do it well surpassed the shortcomings.

I learned them from this very important lesson:

Right work for the right people. It’s the task of a manager to make it possible.

Unfortunately, some managers forget about it. Impressed by the mistakes and shortcomings of people, they decide to select a simples way: abandon further work with them and give them negative feedback. Such a decision looks sad since can broke the career path of an employee. From my current perspective, it speaks about the lack of management skills and should be improved.

Before providing negative feedback a manager should:

  • Ask yourself if the employee has the right work?
  • Do I need to give him a chance with another task?

Additionally, I remember a good note of a successful sports coach:

Excelent coach should be able to win the game even with a team that he did not choose.

That means that even without selection you need to find the way how to win.

In addition to the previous point, it includes improving each team member.

As a manager you need to invest in your employees to make them better.

Yeah, it’s hardest part of management work. You need to make deeper investigations instead of simple rotation.

As a summary, please note:

Each negative feedback you provide is a minus in your own karma and professionalism.

Open questions:

  1. If you have tried some people for different activities, but the right place was not found: how many times you need to try?
woman punching the hand of man wearing training gloves
Photo by Sabel Blanco on

Even one good word

The emotion of this week:

Even one positive feedback can give you enough energy to move to your goal.

As a result, don’t skimp on a good word. Say it even “in credit”!

Perhaps it will serve as the basis for someone’s goals or dreams.

P.S. don’t hesitate to say “Thank you” at least  😉

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Photo by Snapwire on

All you need is..

I’m often asking myself:

What can motivate to work for a long time?

Let me list here some well-known motivators:

  • Money? Partly. It accelerates for short period. If it’s enough money, people are focused on other things, but we can say for sure: if your efforts not paid enough – it demotivates.
  • Work itself? motivates if it gives abilities to grow and ways to apply your knowledge.
  • Team? Agree. It works, if your team helps you, adds challenge.
  • Work environment. It’s not the top motivator but make sense.
  • etc

Every time I write down these points I have the feeling that I’ve missed something really important.

One fine day, my colleagues shared with me their problems like below:

  • My opinion was ignored in the area where I’m expert
  • I receive no feedback about my efforts. Even no “Thank you”.
  • I see no appreciation when I work on the weekend

I don’t know why, but after these words, my eyes opened:

Often people need nothing from you, but RESPECT.

They don’t need money, they need just your attention.

And now if you look back on motivators you will see that all of them are part of the same picture: all of these points exist if your company respects you.

Now let me summarize my personal feelings:

Respect is the best thing what motivates for a long period.

On another hand the most demotivative thing is Disrespect.

Let me describe areas where Respect should be demonstrated:

  1. Respect for your work efforts and achievements: your efforts and achievements are not ignored, but evaluated with appropriate feedback and salary. Your past achievements are not forgotten as well.
  2. Respect for your professional opinion: your opinion and knowledge are not ignored, but used in the right place.
  3. Respect for your time: the time you have is important and carefully used by colleagues.
  4. Respect for your personality: your individuality, personal feelings and goals are not ignored, but respected.

And now let me add a short conclusion:

Don’t forget to demonstrate your Respect. It’s highly important for your collegues.

If your manager demonstrates disrespect – it’s totally wrong.  You have the rights to ask him for respect, for feedback or attention at least.

Let me end with the nice phrase from the Godfather movie:

… But, now you come to me, and you say: “Don Corleone, give me justice.” But you don’t ask with respect.

Please see the whole scene. I think it can be a good definition of “Respect” and how it’s important.


Paper and pen

Just give a paper and a pen to the person and he will start to write.

If you’ll give a paper and paints – he will start to draw.

What does it mean to me:

  1. The things can be done easily if you’ll provide the field for creativity.
  2. Remove fears to create sketches. Make possible to create as many sketches as possible! The whole picture will be based on them!
  3. Tools are important. They should be useful and simple. It’s highly important if you want to start something!

Examples where it works:

  • Just create some Confluence page to fill unstructured Development Agreements
  • Create a folder just for sketches mockups without mixing with results
  • Create a simple spreadsheet to fill ideas about the project.
  • Create just empty Source code file with very raw functions.

After a while, you’ll see that a picture begins to emerge from the chaos! It will need just some efforts to extract it from sketches and polish.

Don’t be afraid to draw sketches. Just start do it for fun.

spring book with feather sketch
Photo by Alena Koval on