Stop fixing problems, start fixing relationships

I believe that almost every internal problem can be traced back to a missing or poor relationship, and that with great relationships it is possible to come together and solve almost anything.

Will Larson, An Elegant Puzzle

It hurts to read that. How many thousands of problems have I “solved” in my career, when really I was just treating the symptoms of bad relationships?

Think about the problems in your team right now. Angry stakeholders demanding the impossible, coworkers arguing endlessly about process, burned out QA engineers, battered and frustrated on-call devs, lack of support from infra, blah blah blah.

How many of them are being fixed by focusing on relationships? If the answer isn’t “all of them” then those problems will be replaced by new ones. Pay down the relationship debt or the interest will swallow you whole.

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