Words matter, and the words you say about yourself and other people matter more than most. It’s important to make a distinction between talking about yourself and talking about the systems and products you build or operate.

Too often, people identify themselves with the system when talking about qualities, deficiencies, or states of the system. And this conflation, especially when talking about deficiencies, can lead to subtle but very real negative self-perception.

Instead of saying “we can’t handle that load”, say “the system can’t handle that load.”

Instead of saying “[the product] could build that in the future”, say “we could build that into [the product] in the future.”

You will be making changes to the system. And it’s important to remember that the system will always have deficiencies and changes to be made, but they are not your qualities. You are not the system

Josh Thoughts
from Josh Beckman 📕