12.15.2005

TIP: When you're not sure if the trader is criticizing or blaming

There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism that's designed to improve work dynamics/productivity. But as it often plays out in reality, constructive criticism gives way to constant blaming/fault finding. And we all know blame rarely helps any situation - it only invites the individual to become defensive and counterattack.

Here are some warning signs if you are working with a trade who's also a fault finder

  • S/he seldom, if ever, lets a neglect slide by, regardless of how trivial. S/he obsesses over the flaws rather than the value.
    • If you had 10 things to do and did 8 of them to perfection, s/he would spend 90 percent of his/her time talking about the 2 things that did not get done.
  • When criticizing, s/he is fond of insupportable phrases (e.g "You should have known better," "You should have done what I wanted without me having to ask you.",) and judgmental terms (e.g "always", "never"). Not only is s/he disagreeing, but also implying that you have violated some standard.
  • S/he is obsessively interested in getting you to admit to wrongdoing rather than listening to what you have to say. S/he seems to take a pleasure in studying your negative inventory.
    • She is obsessively interested in who's wrong and why rather than what went wrong and how to fix it.
  • S/he tends to complain about how s/he isn't getting what s/he deserves - as if you were to blame. You feel like s/he shoots you down just to "level" with you and to build his own sense of self-worth.
  • You can't even remember when the last time s/he said something positive about your work.
    • If you ask her/him to make two lists of things - 1 positive & 1 negative - s/he would be able to come up with the negative list years sooner than the positive one.
    • Working with her/him reminids you of trying to fill a bottomless pit - no matter how hard you try, it's never enough.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

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