Cover Your Ass

During my first few months at my current job, I often hear people saying “CYA” about almost everything – which basically means “Cover your ass” (pardon the language – no, actually, pardon my personality lol). And tbqh, that’s a shitty piece of advice.. 

.. well, at first.

I used to think that in order for a team to be successful in what they do, they have to be motivated – which is easily achievable if there is a good mixture of cooperation, bond and respect between the people involved. But, like, really? CYA? Did they really believe that encouraging people to, in a way, pass on the blame will inspire teamwork? Can CYA turn failure into success, in worst case scenarios? A quick answer would be a resounding “no”, especially if you’re new to the concept.

Being the human mess that is me, the CYA approach somewhat goes against my ideals. I have always valued good bond between people over things that can be quantified (eg. money, ratings, etc). For me, it is more important to have the same goals and be in harmony with other people than always watching for my back because someone might just stab me.

But then, as I spent more time working on projects with new and old colleagues alike, I have learned that thr CYA rule is not really that bad.

For starters, it encourages communication between the people involved. It basically means you need to make sure that you are on the same page as the others, and that you understand what is expected of you. It encourages people to raise concerns to the people who can handle them and to be mindful of the goals of the project because it’s what everyone aims for.

Aside from that, it also encourages people to take responsibility of their own work. It’s like making sure that you are wiping your own ass. It requires people to step up and own up their roles and deliverables, and to ensure that loopholes are all patched up.

Ultimately, once a team goal has been set, everyone is expected to contribute their hundred percent – and strangely, the CYA approach ensures such is the case.

Other than that, I realised that whether or not the CYA rule is right on the money really depends on how you view your work and how much relationship and trust you have for your team mates in the first place. The CYA approach, strangely, tells every member to watch their own backs, but at the same time, to watch out for the others in the event that they miss something.

And you know what, I want to be on the brighter side of the coin, so I’ll stick to the latter point of view.

Happy almost-Friday! (In the timezone that I am in, at least.)


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