What is the Benefit of Being Right?

“I had another conflict at work. My boss doesn’t realize that they are telling people to do something which is hurting the business. I told the boss that it’s hurting, and they just got mad at me and told me to get back to work. And now I’m in trouble to boot.”

“My boyfriend broke up with me because I wasn’t being sympathetic enough to him losing his job. But I was being sympathetic, I was listening to him and trying to help, but he wasn’t listening to me.”

A lot of us seem to have this natural desire to be right. Whenever we’re in conflict we need to find out who was right, have the wrong person apologize to the right person, then hopefully move on. And if we’re the one who was right this is especially true, how could anyone wrong ME and not own up to it!

Today I’m going to ask you the question of “who really wins when you’re right?” The boss heard you and didn’t change anything, so they’re still making bad decisions, except now they’re mad at you. On top of that you really don’t know what was behind the boss’s decisions to begin with, maybe they’re responding to customers, or a landlord, did you take the time to truly hear your boss? The boyfriend was going through a lot, but now you’re alone. Maybe that ultimately is what you wanted, maybe it isn’t, but can you acknowledge that the decision to break up was at least made for a bad reason? And in both cases, maybe you were right, but what does that really mean? Who was the real winner?

Instead of thinking in terms of right and wrong, I challenge you to truly think in terms of where to go from here. For a responsible person that’s creating their own life, facts are only relevant for how they affect future decisions. Stop thinking about who was right, and think about how to make this thing work. Approach the boss or boyfriend with the intent to relate, hear them, and help them make good decisions.

Being right is a game that doesn’t need to be played, with no real winner. Successful people don’t need to be right.

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