Thursday, September 14, 2006


All the people I work with are incredibly sharp and dedicated to our product. We're working on a new area and I have some research that will be presented this week. I've previewed the report with the product manager. Normally we work together well. There are times I am more conservative than he is. The results of the research made him uncomfortable because they don't support his project as strongly as he needs. Let's just say he was very unhappy and strongly disagreed with some of the numbers.

I have reminded him many times that research is never perfect because it can never factor all the nuances of real world behavior. He still thinks that much of the research is flawed. That's fine. I'm trying not to take it personally. I disagree with some of his attitude, and other parts I'm open to understanding better.

My issue today is that he let me know he talked with another person about the report. This is someone who will attend the meeting and will have some big influence down the line. He said that he told the other person his issues with the data and gave a specific example of where he thought the results were wrong. The other person agreed with the example and is curious to see the details.

I am upset because I am concerned that by revealing one piece of data and his opinion before the presentation that he has "poisoned the well." How is the other person supposed to look at the research in a neutral and fair manner when he already been told an opinion that the data is flawed? Am I justified in being angry? Is this a case of me taking things too personally? Do I say anything? What is the appropriate reaction?

We'll see what happens. We're all adults, and I have to hope that the other people will draw fair conclusions. (But then again, this is business... and business isn't always about what's logical.) It's unfair to the research to pre-position someone by discrediting the results - right or wrong. People should be given a chance to see things for themselves.

Now that my rant is over... time to go soothe myself with a bag of Cheetos.

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