Be Kind

Simply put, we are not always going to agree.

Please, take this as someone who was nicknamed “The Scary DBA” for reasons comic and tragic. I’ve screwed up a bunch of stuff in my career. Yes, some of it was through ignorance of technology. However, most of it was through badly managed interpersonal relationships.

I was not always kind. I was not always empathetic. I caused problems on teams sometimes that were just unnecessary.

If I had just thought things through, a little, and practiced more kindness, I’d have had a much nicer time of it and influenced people in a more positive way.

Now, I read this post by Jennifer Jones.

I wanted to get angry at people for not treating her well. But all I could think about were my own shortcomings. The times I missed out on being appropriately kind.

So, I’m telling you now, don’t be me. Don’t look back with regret. Look forward with kindness. Treat those around you with kindness. Our community will be better for it. You’ll be better for it.

11 thoughts on “Be Kind

  • mike vessey

    you are not even at all a little scary, every time I’ve seen you present a session you are cheerful and helpful.
    I heard one of your co-workers tell my colleague that you are just a nice teddy bear. 🙂 (that one is already being sent to the print shop as a meme).

    but I don’t think you see your strengths. I had a little whinge about a certain community contributor that I and jeff don’t get along with on the forums (lets call him JC) , you sprang to his defence and said how nice he was.

    As for jeniffer’s situation, it was wrong of people to behave that way (and I include the people who didn’t defend her)

    I’ve sent her a message to not quit, but I do understand what would prompt jen’s reaction… but we are stronger as a supportive community, not a judgemental one

  • Great post Grant. I think more of us need to admit our shortcomings, because it’s part of how we can be better.

    I want to add a small anecdote if I may: I recall at one of my early SQL Saturdays, there was a young woman who came to you for feedback on her presentation. You were great about it. You were encouraging and kind and very supportive. Your critiques were on point without being harsh or scary.

    So some many know you as the ScaryDBA, but I know how much support and kindness you do try to show. I’m honored to know you.

  • Beautifully written, and very wise. We can all look back at our own failures (or as I like to think of them, “teachable moments”) and/or learn from others to do and be better. Thank you for posting.

  • Dale Carnegie book “How to win friends and influence people” talks a lot about interpersonal relationships and how to handle tough situations. Warren Buffet has acknowledged that Carnegie book has helped him a lot throughout his life. I think that book should be made part of school, college curriculums.

  • I read her article and I see her point. I’ve rewritten what I wrote as it went in the wrong direction – and that was a misunderstanding of what Grant wrote.

    I can see the angle where you shouldn’t have regrets based on your behaviour of the past (although I’ve got a heap of them and can’t seem to unload them myself….) – and being a DBA / Senior DBA / DBA Consultant can tend to make you become a little more forceful when confronted for the nth time by that person with no technical knowledge making technical decisions. There are also times when a reading of the Riot Act is required when a colleague is blatantly lazy while you’re slogging through hours of unpaid overtime to get the work done.

    I’m now in another Technical Lead position where I oversee multiple DBAs of varying ages and skills – and those times in the past when a harsh attitude was required has not been needed for a few years now (thankfully) because I guess I’ve mellowed with age. There’s just no need to act like a bastard to work colleagues.

    It also helps my cause to remind management that everyone on the team is an adult and old enough to think for themselves 🙂

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