Alex Stockwell

UX, DevOps, Fatherhood, Miscellany. Not in that order.

Experience and Mind Reading

“I knew you were going to ask that!”

I’ve been hearing that phrase a lot lately regarding my professional dealings. On the surface, it seems to be a good thing - Oh, this must be an obvious question on both parties' minds that has some bearing on this discussion. But at the same time, I only remember hearing this recently, so what was I doing before?! Apparently I may have been missing some key questions, questions that were anticipated by the other party and probably important in some regard - He never mentioned that, apparently it doesn’t matter…

I guess it all comes down to experience. Exposure to a sheer quantity of situations helps us learn to identify patterns and sort out what matters from the noise and fluff. Eventually you can almost predict how an encounter will go down, based on your experiences and how the specific circumstances in front of you fit within that knowledge. However, that’s not to say that you are really at an advantage, or that you can read minds. It really only means that you can anticipate common sticking points and try to assuage them proactively. And that’s what allows real breakthroughs to happen.