I'm looking for advice on mentoring others (or perhaps communication in general).
I'm a newly promoted Senior engineer in my company and I'm managing a new hire for my company. It's been 2 months, and it's hasn't been a fun ride.
I've found my relationship with the engineer to be fairly antagonistic. I'm not even sure how to describe this, so here are some notes:
- He's confrontational - Whenever I give him opposing feedback in his pull requests, he will very often come over and say "hey, do you want to talk about this?"
- He's very resolved - During discussions, he has shown himself to be principled. However, I've often disagreed with his decisions and it's very difficult to convince him that he's wrong. It's stressing me out since this happens on a daily basis.
- He is a bad communicator - English is his second language, and the conversations I have with him have been difficult... He is stoic with his rationalizations, and it is very challenging to change his mind.
- He is ambitious - I've felt that he's always trying to one-up me. Whenever I speak, he would always try to follow with something.
- His way is better - When we get into a disagreement and come to an impasse, his resolution has always been "let's just merge it and see how it goes". I've let this happen a few times.
I understand communication is a two way street. All of the above points can easily be a showcase of how bad of a communicator I've been. Here's what I've tried to do so far:
- Enlist a third-party arbitrator - There was a heated discussion that was going nowhere. I decided to pull in another senior engineer in the company to help give a third opinion.
- Appeal to convention - It seems he doesn't value my feedback a lot, so I've been feeding him some blog post links during disagreements.
I'm really stressed out. It's common for our discussions to degrade to arguments, where both sides feel their side is the right side.
What are some techniques I can employ to better the situation?