Avoiding friction

There’s a natural tendency to avoid conflict and hard conversations. They are unpleasant, they can create animosity. People prefer to go through the long strenuous path of ignoring the problem. David Heinemeier reflected on a similar topic:

Because hitting undo usually means at least one difficult conversation, some amount of disappointment, and a recognition that you get this one wrong. All factors that most mortals are loathe to face! It’s so much more comfortable to punt. Come up with excuses of why it just hasn’t worked yet. Why just a bit more time is needed to turn it around. Any argument will do, as long as it postpones the requirement to move.

And moreover:

The sad truth is that most of us are cowards whenever we can be. We usually know what needs to be done, but we shrink from the responsibility to do it. Unless occasion calls upon us without a choice, we’ll find a way around.

I hypothesize that a lot of engineers never become managers, not because they love coding above all else, but because they rather avoid dealing with other humans during difficult situations.