Ok this round of pet peeves is not an Agile practice but something many leaders face; the request for a reference.  Early in my career, I rarely would agree to giving a reference. Simply because putting my name on the line for someone else scared me.  Now, I am so invested in people succeeding that it only makes sense to give references.  However, there are aspects of this that drive me bonkers:

  • Assuming, not asking:  Please do not send me an email that says, “Been a long time since we talked.  Hope all is well.  btw: listed you as a reference”.  Ask me and not AFTER you list me.
  • Asking for immediate response:  “This is not a lie.  I once had a guy who worked for me at a previous company, call me at my new company asking for a reference.  I said I didn’t have time to talk right now, could I call him back?  His response was “no, I need it right now. It is due”.  I had an easy answer, then no.  If you are looking at job postings, you KNOW at some point you will need references.  Don’t wait until the last minute and make your stress, my stress!
  • No information:  Thank you for asking, now tell me more.  I may have changed my tune about how I feel regarding giving references but I still am not giving people a blanket reference.  Where are you applying?  What role?  Why?  Trust me, you will get a much better result when I know what the situation is.
  • Ask me to lie:  You would think this wouldn’t happen.  You are calling someone to ask for them to be a reference for you and you want them to lie.  Stretching the truth is lying too.  This is a sure bet to get me to say no!
  • No follow up:  Did they offer you the job?  Did you take it?  I invested time, I would like to know the result, otherwise, I’m left feeling a little used.

What are your reference request pet peeves?

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick is a leadership and organizational advisor. Her transformational leadership at all levels of an organization, ignites growth of leaders and high performing teams to deliver quality outcomes. Tricia has more than twenty years of experience in the software development industry. She is a highly-rated trainer, coach, facilitator and motivational keynote speaker. Beyond her extensive knowledge and skills, her biggest offering is inspiring people to believe anything is possible.

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