Say things that can be wrong

Here’s one way to voice a thought:

I feel like there are lots of exceptions, but in general it can sometimes be difficult for larger teams to jell, at least in my experience which may or may not apply in this specific case.

And here’s another way:

Jelling is harder for large teams.

The first one is 90% hedging so it’s hard to disagree with. It’s a safe, boring statement. The second one is sharper and ripe for debate. I know which one I’d say is more valuable.

People can’t object to a “my experience is” statement or a “I don’t know if it applies here” statement. Saying those things is more comfortable since nobody can tell you you’re wrong. After all, they don’t know your experience, and you yourself said maybe it doesn’t apply here.

Sure, sometimes you have to hedge to scope what you’re saying, and that’s fine. But is it possible you overdo it because you’re scared to be wrong? Do you add conditions and exceptions to everything you say until it’s hard to disagree with any of it?

You’re making the discussion less valuable to protect your comfort.

Find the courage and vulnerability to be confidently wrong. Voice strong opinions but hold them loosely. Don’t water down your opinions for the sake of comfort. Try un-hedging your statements and giving people the chance to disagree with you.


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