One of the things that’s made a big difference in my long path from general jerk to occasional jerk has been my conscious effort towards empathy, and to recognize that, as I’ve been told, reality is what you make of it. This means, in baseball writing terms, I have to push myself towards certainty. I think it’s made me a much better actual analyst — I’m not afraid to say “we don’t know how this turns out” and I say “It’s unlikely that we’ll see this” or “there’s no evidence to suggest that…” or to circle a big area like clubhouse politics and say “I don’t know.” This was a great strength as a program manager, too, where being able to gauge perception against evidence and the known against the probable helped make things happen.
It’s really weird because today, I feel like I botched it, in a way — I took a piece of ambiguous information and managed to bungle decisions until I totally blew it. The results were that it generated all kinds of bad events, chaining on down, until there was a point this afternoon where I despaired of ever repairing it.
But it was based at least in part on a faulty assumption. What’s strange, though, is that I bit it, other people bit it without my prompting, and from there, things cascaded. I didn’t think to look at the tenets and ask second questions, and neither did anyone else.
When it all snapped for me, I felt strange for a long minute or two, because I realized I’d spent all day viewing things incorrectly, that when I first encountered piece of information #1, I’d been tired and in a bad mood and then once I formed that opinion. I slipped into the very habit I’ve been trying to avoid for so long, and once I slipped, it took something huge to get me corrected.
Time to redouble my efforts.