In 2009 I had another contract, where I met this very strange manager. He hated QA and he hated females on his team, so out of 37 guys, I was the only girl.
He felt his developer could easily manage on their own, and I was just a standby along with another QA just in case they needed it.
I decided to change the pattern, a small bit at the time. So, over the next 10 months, I was able to change his vision of how the final product should testes and to a success rate of more than 110% improvement. Was it easy? No, take into consideration there are so many other factors, incl. you are not emotionally bound.
My first part was to get close enough to change his pattern, after that the rest would be easy.
Every morning, he had his morning coffee and again every afternoon, just two cups a day.
My office was separate from the main office, as he said, girls make bad energy, and ruin the rhythm.
When I needed to ask the developer something, I had to go into the main office, where he was sitting too. In the beginning, I was sometimes lucky to make it in there just after he has gotten his coffee, which meant I would work against, his so settled work pattern.
One day, standing by one of the developers thinking, over and over again while debating a problem, “I need a cup of coffee, I need a cup of coffee” Even though he had just sat down with a cup, he drank it very fast and before I was over, he said out loud while looking at his coffee cup, “I will be right back, I need another cup of coffee” The first couple of times, I didn’t follow, but after a month or so, I went back to my desk, put my papers down and met him at the coffee machine, where we talked.
He told me he felt overworked and underpaid and was so tired when he got home in the evening, he was not sure what to do.
I told him “he needed someone to help him out”, he just smiled and said, “that would be a wishful thinking, the company does not have the means for an assistant” A few months went by and I could see he was not dragging his feet anymore, and one day at the coffee machine I asked him how he was feeling.
He smiled and told me, he felt his job had become so much easier and lighter, he was not sure, maybe all the tasks were just done before he got around to them.
I never mention anything, to him, and I did meet 2 hours before him in the morning, so it was an easy task.
Some of the days when I needed to talk to him, but he was too busy, he would walk by my office and with a glass wall, between the office and the hallway it was easy to see. As I saw him passing by I would think, “I need to talk to you, I need to talk to you” and he would suddenly stop, turn around go back and pop his head in of the door, “did you call me, do you need anything?” I would smile and say, “not really, but now that you are here, we need to look at..”
The following year I lost my mom and I needed a break, to get over my mom was gone from a very early age. So, I informed him I was going to leave, but he has a wonderful team of QA specialists, there were more and cable of taking over. He just smiled and said, “there is nothing to take over, but thank you”
The past two months I was there, I let go of all my tasks, and focused only on finishing my first and foremost tasks. One day I met him in the hallway, dragging his feet, he looked at me and said, “what have you done?” I smiled and said, “what do you mean?
I just said you needed help with all the other tasks, that you didn’t see” his eyes teared up and said, “you have taken over 60% of my workload along with your own, and now you are giving the 60% back.” I said, “80%” he looked at me confused, but within a month he found on what I meant. He was both angry and sad I was going to leave, and when his business analyst realized done the same to him, he found the last 20%.
I heard from the other team member it took him a year to get over the void. After a year that team split into several other companies, and he moved up to become a manager over all the managers, his job became a bit easier.
Note to my readers: I use my skills each time I am out in a contract, both on the business and the development side. If I meet a manager there has a hard time understanding the project, and the cost efficiency in changing, I change their mind patterns, so they change their patterns of thinking.
I use the same skill in learning about a new product, which means I am diverse and become aligned with the business way of thinking before I redirect, what they already know.