VolXII, Issue 3
Conflict is an inherent feature of any relationship, and we technical writers face it every day. Luckily enough, not as much as policemen, or politicians, or even lawyers – yet enough to make us angry, and irritable. Conflicts for power in the work place, conflicts with managers and employees, conflicts with SMEs and editors, conflicts with peers who question our decisions – the forms of conflict are varied. Isn’t it surprising then, that so many of us are yet to gain any expertise on handling conflicts?
One basic technique of handling conflict is to stop before you react. When someone makes a statement you don’t agree with – take your time to react. The one who reacts fastest, is rarely a winner. Next, think of the issue from your opponent’s point of view. He might not be putting it nicely or fairly, but he may have a point. Consider if past experiences are clouding your judgment. And when you do react, be polite, never make it personal, and of course no name-calling.
In this world of conflicts, everyone is an opponent, but the solution is not mindless battle. Victory is in resolving the battle and keeping everyone satisfied, or at least not dissatisfied. Diplomacy is a virtue, which serves everyone well. We technical writers, need to equip ourselves with it. We have never had harried customers knocking on our cubicle doors demanding to know why a feature is not working as documented. But that day is not far – modern documentation is breaking down barriers between writers and customers – and very soon each and every one of us, will be talking to hundreds of customers on a daily basis. We will then have to be our own image consultant and branding expert! How then, can we afford to dismiss positive social interactions? Isn’t it necessary, that we should all learn to handle every conflict better – not in hind sight, but in real time!
On behalf of the INDUS team.
In this issue, we have an article full of tips on getting more out of your RoboHelp installation by Samartha Vashishtha and Nandini Gupta.
Kumar Dhanagopal’s article discusses the merits of user surveys to test landing pages.
Ankur Shrivastava writes about his experiences managing engineers who are technical writers.
And finally Sumedh Nene talks about his experiences getting a fresh start in Canada.
The STC India chapter President, Michelle Cherian, has a message for you.
The illustrations by Mallika Yelandur for this issue of Indus are exclusive to Indus.