So I decided, in talking to the architect at work today, to go into the conversation with a clear and open mind, to set aside my considerable prejudice and listen to what he had to say. We've been in a battle to get him out of our way, but once I separated him from his inability to communicate in writing, and forced him to stop hand-waving and really explain his ideas, I'll be damned if he didn't have a good plan. It's a shame it's taken endless months of dealing with his cracksmoking to drag it out of him, and now, out of personal and intellectual honesty, I have to face up to possibly using his idea and not mine.
Stupid spiritual practice.
I was wondering where my ego went, though, and now I've found it, and was very startled to discover that I had given myself an emotional stake in the conflicts with him. I shouldn't be surprised--when I described my team to him as "proud, prickly and capable", me and my boss were at the top of my list--but sometimes it's just hard to see these things. I'd given myself an interest in maintaining the conflict, and when you want a conflict to continue, you're unable to resolve it. It feels even more silly when I remember that the decision is ultimately mine, not his: while it would smooth matters considerably, I don't actually have to win him over in order to succeed. From that point of view, continuing the conflict becomes just me protecting my ego, and rejecting outside contributions into the domain of things at work where I've had absolute control for so long. So, enough of that.