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Other People Aren’t Always Right

Written by: Erleen Hatfield, P.E., M.ASCE
Published on: Jul 21, 2022

group of engineers
Photo credit: LukaTDB

I wish I’d known that other people don’t (always) know better than I do.

When an experienced person confidently presents an idea that I disagree with, my first thought is: They must know something I don’t. Others feel this way too, I’m sure. And at such times it’s daunting for anyone to speak up — especially for women in traditionally male-dominated fields.

In the past, this doubt sometimes stopped me from advocating for my own ideas, even when I knew they were best. Take building information modeling, for example. I was an early adopter of 3D digital modeling ever since working with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry on a project in 2003. I saw firsthand that the technology could revolutionize how architects and engineers work together, that it could make project design and delivery smarter, better, and faster. But many of my peers dismissed 3D as a fad or just extra work. So I doubted myself and shelved the idea until later, when a mentor gave me the confidence to push for the use of 3D with our clients.

Read the full article.