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Code hoarders, heroes, and having difficult conversations on Zoom

Published: July 13, 2022

Because these behaviors damage team development and morale, coworkers and managers need to speak up. Instead of saying, “Jeremy, quit hoarding your code,” Zorgdrager recommends focusing on how the behavior affects team members. How does it make people feel? What’s the impact on others’ ability to do their jobs? “This approach leads to a more productive conversation than saying, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t do this.’”

Ideally, a meeting like this would happen face-to-face. With so many people working from home due to COVID restrictions, however, this may not be feasible.

“In the remote environment, we too often use Slack or email for a conversation that should be in-person or over the phone,” said Zorgdrager. If the topic is sensitive, with a potential for conflict, misunderstanding or hard feelings, you ideally want to be able to see body language. Without this, you are missing an important component of the dialogue.

Zoom isn’t perfect, but a private Zoom meeting is certainly better than making snarky comments in public Slack channels.