I just lost an argument over some functionality a piece of software a project requires in a work project. To be honest, post MBA it’s unusual for me to lose many of these arguments thanks to an improved ability to state a position and defend it with facts and thoughtful reasons.
The part that is interesting for me isn’t the fact that I lost, but the fact I’m comfortable with the outcome. Earlier in my career I would continue to argue the point long past my manager’s patience for the topic, but not now. Now, like a parent comfortable seeing their kid scratch their knee riding on the handle bars of their bicycle because they know the lesson learned will be valuable and the harm done relatively minimal; I’m comfortable seeing if the user tests prove me or those who disagree with me right. Call it maturity or whatever but its there.
The thing is that I absolutely know I’m right so much so that despite a firm personal rule of letting things roll unless I see some major problem I’ve spent a lot of airtime over the last week trying to convince a few decision makers this is the right option. This believe in my gut also comes from the MBA experience where I was burnt numerous times when I went along with the group instead of my gut (lord no we don’t need to have financial projections in our presentation to the VCs – trust me I’m an EMBA in finance; really are you sure? To me financials would be logical) and actually rewarded when I pushed my issue even when it meant hurting some feelings (this valuation doesn’t make any sense, we need to change it and over a weekend I did with a good mark as a reward). My gut and little voice rarely let me down, or at least I remember the times they were right more than when they were wrong. :)
The end result of my work debate was to publically give up – ‘works for me, not a problem’ while simultaneously working to ensure the damage is minimized in the long run in case I am right. This is probably similar to that parent telling their kid to at least wear a helmet. Oh, and I have a ton of emails saved just in case there’s some blame to go around – probably similar to keeping the receipt to that helmet in case the cops show up and wonder why little Timmy is bleeding. No officer, he had a helmet – hopefully this fall knocked some sense into him.
Am I right? Yes, actually I am. Does it matter right now? Thanks to the MBA, not really.