because we did it this way this other time

This will sound rant-ish — and it probably is — but try to focus on the ideas more than the tone.

I hope to never work in an environment again where people come to me with defensive answers like: “well, we are doing it this way because this is how SOME BIG COMPANY I USED TO WORK AT USED TO DO IT.” Like…fine…but let’s think for ourselves for a moment, can we?

This is a more complicated question than I originally anticipated — because it is not clear to me that it’s easy nor even really possible for everyone to just be able to flip a switch and start thinking for themselves. We are the product of the systems we are participate in — and being reliant on said systems for ~seemingly everything becomes a state of conditioning/state of being that becomes integral to how we operate.

When you tell someone to stop relying on said patterns, what you are really telling them is to fundamentally change how they think. This is downstream from how they think about their identity, and where they see themselves in society. Who they mention as sources of credibility — in this case, if they are defending work they did because of a previous company they worked at or perhaps because of a certification they hold — says a lot about themselves. It mainly talks to their awareness (or lack of awareness) of where they fit or want to fit into society. And what they view as credible. This is extremely revealing of what they think is important and what they view as “strong.”

So when you tell them to throw that out…well that is not an easy pill to swallow.

A lot of people will cling extremely hard — harder than you could default imagine — to their identities. They will make up stories. Both to you and to themselves. They are not bad people — but they want to feel safe. And you coming in and just saying wait a second what if everything you ever believed was a complete lie and you need to find a new story to believe now and oh yeah it’s been a 30 minute conversation and I just expect you to be able to turn things on immediately. Yeah…does not really work like that.

But there are basically a few types of people in the capacity that some will come to you and make a case by citing sources they view as credible. And some will come make the argument from their own stance of logic or rationale.

I far prefer to work with the latter group.