Is it Political or Personal: coping on dysfunctional teams

My “Managing Up” post on is up today.
The focus is on tips for contract technical communications professionals … though I think it applies for any team where you might find yourself working in strange circumstances.

I’m grateful for early review comments from past team members, who reminded me of some of our more unusual experiences, plus great ideas for how to keep your head down and survive.

I think I’ll tag this as “technology strategy” — after all, isn’t coping with organizational insanity part of any thoughtful tech-strategy plan?
Coping with Dysfunction

Why I bullied editors into compromising quality

Reviewer's markup

You might think this post is about you.
It might be.
I have a new “Managing Up” post at on the tradeoffs that managers make:
Understand the Triangle: Cost + Time + Quality

My focus is on issues for contractor writer/editors and technical writing, but the principles apply most everywhere, at least in the tech sector.
Let me know what you think.
(And I apologize if you’re one of the writers or editors that I bullied into making mistakes. You and I know what quality is, and it’s sad that we can’t be paid to pursue our ideals.)

“Your only job is to make me look good”

I’m offering advice from a manager’s viewpoint for contract technical writers, appearing as a guest blogger for Steyer Associates on the last Thursday of every month. This first post ruminates on my novice experience upon hearing “Your only job is to make me look good.” Two truths: (1) a manager really said that; and (2) I was a novice once.

Check it out: “Getting Started: Managing Up” at