Andy Leonard posted something really great about Performance-Based Management over at SQL Blog. The crux:
“[F]riendly competition” kills teamwork faster than anything else. Good people feel less motivated to help because they are punished for the success of others.Please read all of Andy's appropriately titled post for yourself: Performance-Based Management Stinks.
Someone I'm unfamiliar with, Hugo Kornelis, has a great post (also at SQL Blog) called Principles of Modeling: the Concreteness Principle. His specific intent is to help database designers move past abstract examples and instead use concrete examples whenever possible. The post has a lot to say about communication in general. The post is steeped in database jargon, so I'm not sure it would resonate with someone unfamiliar with databases. But hell, give it a try anyway. All he's basically getting you to consider is that sometimes the question we hear isn't really the question that was asked. Spoiler alert -- here's the ending:
"If this blog post has helped you to become more aware of the way you talk with people, the way you ask questions, or the way you make an argument; if you now try to avoid abstractions and use concrete examples instead, I have achieved what I aim for. Even if you are not (or not always) able to present those examples in a notation that’s familiar to the person you are talking to."How can you resist?!