Personal Safety

I just read a blog from Alistair A.R. Cockburn entitled ‘personal safety’.  There are times for all of us where we question the actions and motives of the people around us.  I’ve tended to always attempt to ‘do the right thing’ in my judgements and strive to make sure my motives are good and my actions make me accountable.  It’s about personal integrity.

The problem could be, for example, when I’m working for someone where I don’t always agree to their actions.  I tend to think that people/companies can do better than they are.  I push that I’ve decided.  To what end, I wonder.  Perhaps I view ‘success’ in terms of correct motivation and accountability.  In many regards someone could view a project for example as being a ‘failure’.  But, I know personally if I have the right motivation and I was accountable and make decisions to try to do what is best for the project, then I might see it as a ‘success’.

Maybe because to me that ‘success’ breeds success.  Positive communication. Honesty and integrity.  They bring success regardless in my opinion.

So, how does this tie into personal safety?  For me it happens when I recognize the above is not being applied… negative communication or no communication (emails sent with no replies), dishonesty, or better yet, hiding the truth out of fear.  Lack of integrity.

Success doesn’t adhere to the above.  I would go so far as to say that outside of ‘brutal’ honesty (ie. telling someone they are ugly and they are… lol), honesty and integrity will stick with someone through their lifetime and beyond.

But where and how do we confront that denial of accountability, honesty, and integrity?   What if that is the people we work for?  Our livelihood depends on that relationship, etc…

To me, that is where allowing personal safety to flourish is the key.  It’s a catch-22 though:  your confronting behavior that isn’t correct by the same people that promote personal safety  🙂

So, the problem I am faced with sometimes is what I call ‘am I caring too much’ syndrome’?   Some people will just see it, say ‘that is life’ and continue on.  I find that is my place many times.  It’s not my role to confront my boss for example on his integrity.  It’s dangerous to say the least.  But, I can see it now ‘why did you let that continue Steve?’

I think my response would be ‘because the situation lacked personal safety’ or trust.  Trust and personal safety I believe is a two way street.  As a lead, I can tell me team or individual how to write better.  Not to condemn, but to help them grow, in a positive way.  That is the ‘correct’ thing to do for example.  I also need to have the personal safety to say ‘hey, look at my code, how can I do better’ with trust.  All key to learning and growing and developing a team/company with integrity, accountability and trust.
Does your company promote trust and personal safety (and accountability/integrity) ?  Do they say they do (most always say they do), but DO they really?
Does your current development team promote personal safety?

Are you a lead or a personal in your organization that people look up to – do you promote personal safety?

How important is personal safety to, ie. an agile development team?

How important is personal safety to where and who you work for?

Does our culture promote the dollar over accountability and personal safety?

There are questions I ponder and ask back to you 🙂


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