“Don’t be nice, be predictable.”

It’s a common rule of thumb for driving. I want other drivers to be predictable, not polite. Don’t stop and wait for me go first if you obviously have the right of way. At best you’re blocking traffic, and at worst someone will smash into you.

I wonder where else this rule could apply. Maybe work stuff like:

  • Don’t clog up people’s inboxes with annoying thank you emails for every little thing.
  • Don’t insert yourself and help someone who hasn’t asked for help.
  • Don’t move other people’s tickets to the right column on the board if you think they forgot.
  • Don’t merge other people’s approved PRs if that’s not the standard process.

Seems like there’s some non-driving-related wisdom in it, no? Being nice over predictable may even be a red flag for diminisher behaviors.

Where else could it apply?

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