Does it seem to anyone else that Architecture is full of Ego? I’m not talking about the egoism that you might have from being great at what you do… no, I’m talking about the know-it-all egoism that surrounds me. Nobody wants to ask for help. Nobody wants to try new things. Nobody wants to admit what they don’t know.
I’ll go first. I’m not a Designer. There… I said it… again.
I also don’t know much about contracts or specifications and I’m really not the guy you want in front of your clients (I tend to say what’s on my mind more than might be appropriate sometimes). I’m also not the guy you want making your presentations or your graphic materials or your renderings. I know a thing or two about codes though… and I think I know how to put a building together (I tend to give the contractor a lot more credit than many in our profession). If there was one thing I am better at than almost anyone I know it’s how to use AutoCAD, ADT and Revit (though less of the first two than the last lately)… and I know a fair bit about a lot of the other digital tools we might use.
Of course I too have an ego… and not just about the tools. I know a little about a lot of subjects in the field… enough to know when someone else professing to know is wrong. Does that mean I’m a know-it-all too? Maybe some would see it that way… I know those-who-think-they-know-but-don’t think I am.
What’s critical is that we acknowledge the ideas and skills of others. Even if we might have more years in the profession than they, we need to hear them out and see what else they might be bringing to the conversation. If we start the conversation with the assumption that we’re right and they’re wrong we’re doomed.
So maybe Ego’s not the problem… maybe it’s rampant closed-mindedness.
What if we started every conversation with the assumption that the person we’re talking to might be right and we might be wrong? Just for the span of this discussion of course… let’s not get carried away! What’s the worst that could happen?