Sunday, November 13, 2011

Filters of Experience

Filters are great things, until they aren't...

I use my experience to filter lots of things. For example, I won't get started on optimizing how my email is stored because I've done that and it ultimately takes more time to maintain than I get value out of. Additionally, I will go out of my way to meet the maintenance people in my building because knowing them can quickly get issues fixed when they arise.

This experience I've developed over years has allowed me to see nuances in everyday activities to try to maximize the benefit to me or others.

But these filters of experience also hold me back sometimes. My son had a school project that would take several hours to do and he waited until the last minute to do it. I looked at the clock after dinner the night before the assignment was due and concluded that given my son's available time, he couldn't have finished it and would have to turn it in late. I thought that even if it were done, it wouldn't be done well. I was wrong. While he could have turned in a more polished final product, he did finish it reasonably well and only a little after his normal bedtime.

So if you are new in your career:

  • Look for those with experience to see if you can work better
  • Don't let that experience hold you back if you have the desire to see it through (even if you end up being wrong to ignore experience, you'll have just built up some of your own)
If you are well established in your career.
  • Look to the younger crowd for energy and new possibilities
  • Be sure to voice your experience in a way that allows everyone to feel successful. (even if you end up being wrong, it won't be the first time)


tmngr6 said...

A number of years ago I was tested to see if I was type A or B, I came out C. I hold a great deal of trust that those younger than I have the answers to what ever is wrong technically, because they probably recently read about and were tested on it in school. You just have to guide and trust them. I like to give broad direction, tell them to be curious and send them down the track. I keep my finger on the project pulse through status meetings, straighten it out if it wobbles, but more times than not I am blessed by something great at the end.

Robert Watkins said...

I like your approach. Allowing them to find their way using your own experience to gently nudge them if it seems helpful seems to provide a great atmosphere to encourage creativity and keep everyone engaged.