Perhaps the hardest thing for smart people to learn how to do is be wrong. And that’s a shame, because being wrong is a powerful thing that introduces you to new ideas and solutions. Especially when we get used to being right much of the time, it’s easy to lose sight of newer and more effective ways of doing things.
Invalidate your cache
When people form an opinion and stick with it for a while, they sometimes forget about the series of events that caused them to form that opinion. It’s easier to just stick with and repeat a solution than to review how it came to be each time, especially when it is proven to have a satisfactory rate of repeated success. This is very common in engineering environments. Sometimes, we need to invalidate our mental cache and be open to new ideas.
Proof speaks louder than words
Learning to be wrong
It’s easy to see when someone else is wrong about something (or at least claim as much), but it’s a lot harder to realize when your own position on something may not be correct. It’s very common for engineers to get stuck in their ways. Loss of humility is so subtle that hardly anyone sees it happening, so it’s helpful to have a team and a community to keep you in check. The more wrong you are willing to be today, the more likely you are to be right tomorrow.