I Told You So

Being right later is a symptom of a nasty disease. You knew the problem was coming, you tried to convince people, possibly even earnestly, but they choose the risky path anyway.

Self reflection reveals:

  1. You’re not communicating effectively.
  2. You’re not trusted.

Painful, yes, but if all the evidence points one way you have to face it. Many technologists focus on the logic, the details of the arguments, and assume that the overwhelming evidence will win out. Often an emotional appeal will crush an overly rational argument. Since code or mathematics don’t behave this way it can defy comprehension. Heck, many developers ended up coding because it’s such a nice logical world.

The second possibility is that they’re not hearing your arguments because they don’t trust you. That lack of trust can be simple hierarchical status. I’m higher up in the organization therefore anyone lower in the pyramid probably can be safely ignored. It could also be that they’ve tagged you based on some past mistake. Doesn’t matter that you’ve had 10 big successes since then, they’ve mentally checked out of your arguments, because you screwed up on big Project A 5 years ago.

Communication can be worked on and built up. Trust unfortunately tends to be a long term fix. In the mean time you can find yourself wanting to say “I told you so!” constantly, but it’s just counterproductive. If you’ve lost that trust in a corporate setting it’s often just better to be successful elsewhere.