Yep. That happened. We all have been brainwashed. You, me and the other people on this planet. Your team members, teachers, mentors, parents, friends – they’ve all been brainwashed. Pretty much only cats and dogs have survived – rest of us have got a heavy amount of influence from surrounding environment, events, people.
Basically this means that as a game producer it’s useful to realize that your thoughts, opinions, working habits are most likely given to you. You might have ignored some ideas, but rest assured there’s something that gone through your filters without you even realizing it. Let’s try to get some examples. Word “Microsoft” is most likely to get your nerve cells moving. You might feel disgusted about their policies, laugh at their “secure” software and think that Gates should go to a very warm place with demons. Or… you might think that Windows is good, Word is a nice software for making documents and appreciate that Gates has donated really much money to charity. I’m not saying “which side to take”, but I’m saying that whatever “side” you take – something has influenced that.
The point is: something or somebody in your past has affected how you think today and feel about things. If a new game developer announces “we have a new MMORPG project and need lots of people to work with us” you might laugh or join the crew depending how things have gone in your life.
The reason why I think it’s important to understand that you (like me and others) have been “brainwashed” is that you can start questioning your own thinking and opinions. If for example you feel really frustrated about why the team doesn’t function as you would want it to work, then you can start looking in the mirror first: why am I feeling frustrated? Why would the team really need to work as I want? When one realizes that there’s great amount of influence from external sources, you will be able to question even yourself.
It’s quite easy to question everybody else – but it’s heck lot of work to question yourself. But, if you keep in mind that “your current habit might be useless” you’ll open doors to opportunities. If you’ve accepted that Microsoft is bad, you have just closed door to accepting that there might be something good in them – and vice versa. If you think you are right – and that your management style is right – then your way of leading your team won’t be flexible and your options to get your team to function will diminish.
Questioning your own ideas and opinions will help you solve problems and deal with situations far more effectively than being stuck on being right.