Letting Go of the Need to Be Right
I believe that giving up your need to be right starts with the willingness to listen generously. Curiosity is a foundation of generous listening. When we become curious, it exponentially increases our ability to learn.
Since this is the first time you are hearing from me, I’ll go ahead and introduce myself.
My name is Caitlyn Rose Clark, and I am Momentum Consulting’s newest High Performance Coach. I am the daughter of Craig and Marlene Clark, and this work quite literally “runs in the family.” Momentum Consulting and the curriculum we teach was born three years before I was. So, naturally, when looking for how to raise children, my parents reached for the best toolbox they knew, the Momentum Coaching Workbook.
I’ve always joked that I wasn’t raised by my parents but rather “coached” all the way into adulthood. It’s ironic that my first blog post happened to be focused on Fundamental #4 Give Up Your Need To Be Right, considering that, until about 5 years ago, I refused to give up the need to be right about the fact that I would never be a Momentum Coach!
Yet, here we are. I think it all shifted my freshman year of college. I ventured from my bubble of West Lake Hills in Austin TX down to the deep south with conviction that it was where I belonged (I was 18 people so please give me a break). 2 months in to this, I found myself completely depressed, disconnected, and honestly, hopeless. I was so desperate to make a situation work when it was so crystal clear that being in this living situation was not resonating whatsoever with who I was.
I would have done anything to prove that I was right about my decision to go there. And in pursuit of being right, I completely blinded myself from seeing any of the possible solutions to this devastating issue. The moment I gave up my need to be right about the school I had previously chosen, and decided to move home, I was free. For the first time, I had perspective.
I wasn’t a caterpillar incapable of metamorphosis. I just needed a different cocoon.
Everything that followed that decision led me to the realization that this work is what I was made for. It’s not only what I do, it’s who I am. And giving up my need to be right allowed me to finally see it for myself.
When you are committed to your need to be right, it inhibits your ability to not only listen generously, but to listen at all. Being attached to your need to be right is a painful process, and the idea of letting it go is even more painful. Your need to be right is one of your ego’s protection mechanisms, and I would even bet that there have been times in your life where your need to be right has actually served you well in terms of “survival”.
However, when it comes to growth, your ability to give up being right and look at things in a way you’ve never seen before is vital.
When you’re being right about something, you literally can’t hear the other person, and therefore the decisions you make are based on faulty intel. There is a difference between being accurate and being right. Accuracy is a function of correctly assembling information. “Being right” is more of an attitude. Being right shuts off your ability to listen fully to the other person, and if people don’t feel listened to, you will never get their alignment.
Can you see how this works in all kinds of situations and relationships? Have you been in a situation where you had a hard time giving up the need to be right? Have you been on the other side, where someone insisted on being right rather than really hearing you?
I would love to hear about it.
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.