For IT professionals, engineers, all of us logical left-brain people. We have a natural tendency to either say something is right or something is wrong. You're either smart or you're dumb; black or white, there is not gray in the world for a lot of engineers.
If that sounds familiar to you, that's how I am. But, as of the past few years I guess, I've gotten better at my YouTube video on marketing. This is a struggle I've dealt with for a very long time that I'm sure if you're an IT pro/engineer, somebody of that caliber, I'm sure you have too.
Let's say you get to work and a co-worker comes up with some kind of solution, maybe. And you immediately think that's wrong. Or, let's say you use a PowerShell alias versus the full command line name.
Code is definitely a big example of the whole left-brain right or wrong mentality. You know we're all about coding styles. You should use semicolons; you should not use semicolons. Tabs versus space is a good one right there. It's either, you're right or you're wrong.
Life is Gray
There's no such thing as right or wrong. In the world, life is gray. If my previous boss would ever listen to this, he would definitely say "yeah, you are definitely the right or wrong kind of guy". I've really been struggling with that for a very long time.
I think that it's something that a lot of people, like myself, really need to do better at. We need to be okay with the squishy stuff. Ask some questions about things. Your brain is going to immediately think, "that's wrong, change it; you should do something different, that is right". You have to kind of catch your thought as you're thinking that, and be more self-aware of what you're thinking and get the context behind things.
Twitter is a good example of another. People say something on Twitter and you immediately want to just attack them with "you're wrong, that's ridiculous", but you don't know the context of things. You don't know where they're coming from, or what situation they're in.
The situation that they're in and the context they're coming from may be a completely legitimate and natural statement of what they just said. It's also that a lot of us are perfectionists, but we're not perfect by any means. We may not know the intentions behind something. When you hear somebody ask to explain this to them, instead of saying no, like you naturally would do, you explain why do you do that.
Be inquisitive. I love the Socratic method where you just don't say absolutes yes or no. You ask questions, you inquire about things. You're curious about somebody else's solution that you wouldn't have come up with. You decide, "why did you do it that way? What were you trying to solve"?
Once you hear some explanation and context behind that, you can see "okay, I've kind of changed my mind and I can kind of see that" That's the gray stuff; It's not the right or wrong stuff.
I kind of want to make this post a quick one because it was something I've been thinking about for a little bit. Especially this morning when Adam Fowler on Twitter had tweeted something about the concept of on-premise versus on-premises; how people are getting caught up on names. It's the exact same thing with the names; on-premise, on-premises.
If the majority of the community knows what you're talking about. It doesn't matter what you call it. It's that engineering IT mentality of "that's right, that's wrong". People will be vehement about just arguing their point. For what? It really doesn't matter in the long game.
I guess if you want to sum up this post, it's about seeing the gray in life, getting an explanation, asking questions rather than explaining statements. Being inquisitive of things; be curious about certain solutions; why people are saying certain things. Once you kind of get that or get more comfortable with that the gooey squishy stuff, then there's a lot of things in your life that is going to be better, with the job, career, life. I've seen lots of different instances.
There is no black and white and everything is gray.
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