I’m from the north of Portugal. That isn’t good nor it is bad, but it means something.
People from the north have a temper. Also they say exactly what they think and, they mean exactly they say. This may be a problem, specially now that I’m working on the south.
Let me tell you about the south. In the south people don’t exactly say what they want the way they want. They say something close to what they want, without saying it. People from south don’t use bad words. Actually, they might consider themselves as more polite than people from north- which will curse you and nail you in case you do some stupid thing.
Are they actually more polite? Can you say you are polite if you are not saying, straight forward, what you want, feel, think?
People I talk about this always say: it’s about education- you can say whatever you want without using bad words.. but what the hell? Why should I? Aren’t words just..words?!?!! … Why should one stop using words which clearly define his state of mind and purpose? Why start using hollow sentences which mean nothing nor make other fell a thing?
When people say: oh..I can see you are from the north… well, I’m sorry but… I can see you are from the south too. And that may not be a compliment.
Now let’s look how what I say and the way I say it has an impact in teams -
When I say:
” Looks like we are not keeping up our plan nor our quality. Maybe you could review some practices, probably I can help.”
“Yadda yadda… same talk. I don’t care if we lose that customer, we’ll have others. Someone, somehow, will always guarantee my job. Either way if I’m fired I’ll get some extra money. Next time do a better plan you sucker!. “
When , on the other hand I say:
“This shit will make us lose our last fucking customer you bastards, we fucking need to do something about this shit..what a mess!!
C’ mon!! what will we do to clean this shit?”
The team gets it. And they do something. They know it’s a dangerous situation that may take us to unemployment. They know I’m worried. They know I’m counting on them and..they know I expect more from them because I know they can.
Of course that this is not always 100% true. I’ve met some southerns that curse more than I do ..and I love them..actually they are the only one’s I get when they are speaking. ‘Cause they say what they mean. I know they are not deceiving me. They are honest, rude maybe, but honest and simple.
When we have honest and simple opinions its actually pretty easy to do the right thing. If, on the other hand, we first need to understand the message, then we are loosing time to effectively change things for better.
I found myself with a ridiculous challenge, after 5 years living in the south (and loving it) I don’t know what or how I should say some things to some people:
If I was from the South:
- ” This isn’t eaxctly an increment… see you don’t get any value from it and the work is not done. It’s just a fragment of something that actually does not work ..
I can explain you again..oh ok, you don’t need, yes of course, You already know it…sorry.. you are a CSM..oh! great… so you know it all”
If I was from the North
- “Did you say Increment or excrement?”
.. you are a CSM? my dear, we can’t even learn how to wipe our ass in 2 days.”
You may disagree… I actually don’t care. Oh! sorry, I’m in the south: I’ll carefully take in consideration your opinion but I don’t know if I’ll be able to answer you back.
Remember: Words are just… fucking Words! Make them mean something.