How Personal Matters Can Affect An Engineer’s Work

Shyam Sundar

VP Engineering at Stord



"I had a pretty competent software developer on my team who was really good at coming up with technical solutions to solve business problems. However, after some time, his performance dipped. He wasn't contributing and was checked out in terms of both team engagement and code quality."

Actions taken

"This was a fairly challenging situation, especially because it was fairly early on in my management career. Managing people is part art and part science, and this is when I learned the importance of the emotional side of things. Often, managers will focus on technical skills without really understanding the psychological aspects of what makes their team members tick."

"In this person's case, there were a couple of things happening. He was buying a house for the first time and was stressed by this, and his family was traveling from his home country and he was charged with handling this. These things were draining his energy, so ultimately I gave him a week off to take care of things, and I reminded him that when he was at work he needed to give his best. If people have personal things going on, you should show empathy but should also make sure it doesn't bring down the team."

Lessons learned

"Some issues that may seem complex at first have simple solutions. Sometimes, when there are too many things going on in your personal life, this can have a negative impact on your personal life as well. Often software developers are pretty introverted, so make sure you gather all of the facts and that people feel comfortable talking to you about whatever their personal situation may be."

"A good emotional quotient (EQ) is one of the qualities a manager should have - this consists of self-awareness, self-regulation, drive, and empathy. Being aware of your EQ is as important as execution and product thinking."

Be notified about next articles from Shyam Sundar

Shyam Sundar

VP Engineering at Stord

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementPerformance MetricsLeadership TrainingPerformance ReviewsFeedback TechniquesCareer Growth

Connect and Learn with the Best Eng Leaders

We will send you a weekly newsletter with new mentors, circles, peer groups, content, webinars,bounties and free events.


HomeCircles1-on-1 MentorshipBounties

© 2024 Plato. All rights reserved

LoginSign up