Recently, my son came over and complained about all the people who show up with their “I knew that wouldn’t work” comments after a failed process. He asked where they were in the brainstorming session, all the planning meetings, and the barrage of emails. They were included in every part. If it is true that they knew all along, it is infuriating that they wouldn’t share their views before the process went amiss. Not only is it not fair or right but it quickly drains any trust that may have been amassed.
It comes down to a question of worth.
There are two types of people who say, “I knew that wouldn’t work.” One is the brash antagonist that did not choose to use their loud voice to contribute to the collaboration or the brainstorming progression but waited until the process was safely over to announce their opinion. The other is the quiet, self-disparaging team member that might see comments as criticism and believe they give offense. They only confide to a co-worker, “I knew that wouldn’t work.”
There are two prime reasons for our reluctance.
I am not worth your time.
You are not worth my time.
If you are the leader of a team where this is happening, you need to know why your team is not contributing. Ask your team this two-fold question: is this project worth our time, and can you positively contribute to it? There are those who do not believe their opinion matters, therefore they do not speak. There are those who believe that others or projects are beneath their effort, so they don’t bother to think. Or, if they think, they do not communicate those thoughts. The braggart will not believe the project is worth the effort, and the other will not believe they can contribute. Both are wrong.
We will address how to deal with each type of person in the following two articles.
The Quiet Truth Speaker