Dumbest Person In The Room

When you are in a room trying to figure out a solution to a hard problem, sometimes you should take on the role of being the dumbest person in the room. If you are willing to be the dumbest person, you are willing to ask the questions that many people won’t. People don’t want to look dumb, but they might have the same questions: 

  • Why do we do it that way? 
  • What if we started over? 
  • What if you removed those pieces? 
  • What if we didn’t do anything at all? 
  • What if we decided that we needed to double the expected results? 

If you don’t know the answers, you should ask. There is a place for “fake it until you make it,” but not in a room where you are solving hard problems. 

When you are solving hard problems, you are all the dumbest people in the room. If you are smart enough to have solved this exact problem before, then you just need to implement your solution from last time. If this is a new problem or a new twist on the issue, then you are all near the bottom: not really sure what the best path is. 

If you are all the dumbest people in the room, you might as well admit it and embrace it.