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The Developer's Code by Ka Wai Cheung

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Essay 25Eliminate the “We” in Productivity

In productive team development, clarity is king. Yes, knowing who is responsible for which piece of the puzzle is critical. But it’s just as important to know who isn’t going to be responsible for that piece as well. They have other pieces to handle.

When you’re communicating with your co-workers or your clients, particularly in meetings and over email, get out of the habit of using the word “we.” Instead, say exactly who.

Observe how often you’re using the word “we” the next time you’re in a technical meeting. When you say “we,” you’re probably really saying “some of us,” “just a few of us,” or oftentimes even just you (or John or Mary). Rarely does your “we” actually mean the collective whole. ...

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