The other day I went to my dry cleaner. On the way I told myself to stay calm and listen to their side first. And everything would be OK.
Well that did not last very long. Soon after entering the store the owner was accusing me of blaming them for damaging my favorite pants. And I was being… shall we say… very direct (i.e. in his face!)
I ended up walking out with nothing resolved, a damaged $200 pair of pants and they were losing a customer for life.
Lately there seems to be an increase in people’s need to be “right”. The problem is it is very hard to listen when you’re busy being right. You’re focused on making the other person see your point of view.
This always happens at the expense of another. We gather all the evidence to prove our case. Sometimes we try to embarrass them into submission.
Some of us even spend tremendous amounts of time and money in court proving the other wrong.
Wars are fought over being right!
In the end, what do we end up with? What do we truly win? A prize? A pat on the back? A cash reward? An extra mile of dirt, or better yet, democracy?
And at what expense? Usually the more right we are, the bigger the cost. We can lose a loved one, home, marriage, family or even society.
What if we were actually wrong?
Would the world crumble? In reality, probably the opposite will happen.
Most of us really do know when we are being wrong… we just don’t admit it. I had a pretty good idea I was wrong with the dry cleaner.
Later when I went back to say I was wrong, my dry cleaner thanked me. Funny… we ended up arguing again… this time over who was being more wrong!
Action Steps For the Week:
Make a list of the top 5 issues you are busy being right about. Find ways where you might actually be wrong. Then communicate it to those involved on that list.
Declare this week the week you will be wrong! Just one week. And let the world know it, “This week, I’m wrong… but only this week. Next week I go back to being right!”
For a real challenge, do this in a business meeting. Watch the tension leave the room as those listening see how human you are.
And watch what happens in your life. You might actually accomplish much more than you expected around that list of 5 emotional drains in your life.
Cool stuff will undoubtedly follow.