When Does Valuable Insight Become a Burden?

If you had the ability to read your coworkers’ minds, would you do it?

You could find out who actually supports the projects you’re working on and who wants to kill them. You could know what’s waiting for you behind those closed doors or in that next Zoom meeting. You could make sure that if you’re the lone voice, it’s only because you want to be.

Of course you would want this information if you could keep it to yourself. But what if everyone else in your company could see it too? Could know that you know? Your answer may still be “yes” if everyone supports the projects you’re working on. But if the information you might receive is negative or calls your judgment into question, that may be a different story.

Suddenly, potentially valuable insight could become a burden. You’re forced to deal with the feedback, defend your rationale, change the way you’ve been working, or possibly kill your initiative.

So, would you still want to know what your coworkers were thinking if everyone else would know it too? Why or why not?