Fundamental of the Week #4: GIVE UP THE NEED TO BE RIGHT

Keep your ego, your personal agenda, and your judgments out of the way of doing what’s best for the team or the customer. Don’t let being right interfere with being able to hear others and see possible new solutions you haven’t seen before.

This one can be tough, especially for those of us who are always right. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, for the most part, we are all wedded to our individual points of view. It takes a great deal of intention to consciously set aside our perceptions and beliefs in order to consider a different or opposite perspective. And when you find yourself in the C-Suite, this can be a major limitation to making the best decisions for your organization.

In James Clear’s, article, 5 Common Mental Errors That Sway You from Making Good Decisions, his fifth and most important reason we limit ourselves in making good decisions is what is referred to as Confirmation Bias. He states: “The Granddaddy of them all, confirmation bias, refers to our tendency to search for and favor information that confirms our beliefs while simultaneously ignoring or devaluing information that contradicts our beliefs…It is not natural for us to formulate a hypothesis and then test various ways to prove it false. Instead, it is far more likely that we will form one hypothesis, assume it is true, and only seek out and believe information that supports it. Most people don’t want new information, they want validating information.”

Our very best tool, or shall I say weapon, for disarming this automatic, default way of thinking and behaving is curiosity. When we own our perceptions as perceptions and shift our brains and bodies into a space of curiosity, we actually make a shift into a new realm of other verses self. In order to make this shift, we must hit a sort of pause button and consciously chose to listen generously and learn something new, including acknowledging limitations in our thinking when it comes to making the best decisions.

In a high performing environment, individuals and entire teams practice this pause and shift on a regular basis. And what’s the cost of admission to play on the court with a high performing team? You must leave your ego at the door, along with its never-ending narrative of judgments and agenda items for survival. Don’t worry, it will be waiting for you as you exit the meeting, arms stretched up and ready to be coddled once again.

Here’s this week’s challenge: Give up the need to be right…for the possibility of seeing a new or better way.

All my best,