Learning Minute Antipatterns Being Right

There are a number of thinking patterns that compromise Agility and collaboration. One of the more common is the need to be right.

Think about it. How often do you find yourself in a conversation with someone that ends up going round and round in circles because the other person just won’t listen ?

You have done your homework, you are after all a professional and an expert, you have the answer and you know you are right.

Anyone ?

Being right is something we all live from! Who doesn’t like being right ? It feels good! It is also rewarded! When my idea is used then I get noticed, my job is safe, I am adding value.

What is the impact of being right ? [Ask the group, see what they have to input]

For me to be right, you have to be wrong!

What does that feel like ? I don’t know about you, but the idea of being wrong publicly makes me more than anxious. It is a big deal. I will look incompetent, my ability to do my job will be compromised.

Anyone see it differently ?

When we try and ensure we are right we don’t create a space where collaboration can exist. Being right is about one answer! It is about one person standing out and everyone else submitting to that right answer.

When I am right I am also saying not only that you are wrong but I am also sending message that you aren’t important, that what you know isn’t valuable and in that kind of space people stop contributing.

How much time did you spend yesterday being right ? What was the impact of that on flow ? Did it stop work from flowing ? Did it improve flow ? And what was the impact on the team and collaboration ?

How much time did you spend worrying that it might turn out that you weren’t right and now you look like a real idiot ?

What if you were no more right than the person opposite you ? What if the real ‘right’ answer had elements of both your perspectives ?

Next time you find yourself on the “I am right, you are wrong” band wagon take a moment and stop! Then instead of presenting your arguments, BE CURIOUS! Ask questions about the other person’s perspective. What is it that they see that you do not ?

Challenge Your Self!

Next time you feel yourself needing to be right, slow down. Take 4 deep breathes and let it go.

Instead, be CURIOUS! Ask the other more about their point of view – not to find a way that they are wrong, but to find out more about what you may be missing from the picture.

Practice this for the next week and take the time to observe your reactions and the impact your change in being has on the people around you.

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