By Linda Fisher Thornton
Author’s Note: This post was written based on the collective responses to last week’s post.
10 Ways to Avoid the “Rightness” Trap
There were quite a few responses to last week’s post. The question Is Needing to Be “Right” Unethical? seemed to strike a chord with readers. These are just 10 of the themes raised by readers in their comment. Collectively, these themes represent 10 ways to avoid falling into the “rightness” trap.
- An abundance philosophy – it helps us listen to others without needing to argue our points forcefully. It makes us more likely to seek a win-win solution. A scarcity mentality tends to cause us to see a disagreement as a win-lose situation, where we have to win.
- A learner approach – it helps us see that other people have good points too. A judger approach is more likely to cause us to see what is wrong with what the other person is saying.
- Awareness of our ego – it helps us realize that even though we get some satisfaction from being “right,” that does not mean that we should indulge our need to be right.
- Awareness of our mindset – thinking about how we developed our mindset, and the limitations and flaws in that mindset can help us step back when we think we need to be right.
- Our curiosity – using it helps us be open to listening to what people are saying from all perspectives.
- Our humility – it helps us be willing to admit when we are wrong (or when someone else’s idea is better).
- Our respect for others – this helps us remember that our need to be right shouldn’t cause us to treat others in a disrespectful way.
- Awareness that “reality” and “truth” are perceived differently – since people define these concepts in many different ways, our curiosity helps us explore how other people define them.
- Our good communication skills – they help us express ourselves calmly and respectfully.
- Our respect for differences – it helps us remember that other people have opinions, that their opinions will not always match ours, and that we do not need to perceive these differences as a threat.
Thank you to the many people who commented. Your comments helped shape the discussion in ways that help us all learn. Feel free to suggest additions to this list!
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