Positive Polarity
by Dave Molenda
August 11th, 2014

One of the Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask Yourself…

Welcome! There are times in life that you get asked intense questions. These are questions that, if used properly, can re-shape your life. As a leader, whether in your family, or in your business, you get to answer this most important question…

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be effective?

Is your daily life built around the concept of you having to be right or is it built around you being effective? Now, before you answer this question, please take a minute or two and really reflect on this. Before answering completely, think about these supporting questions:

  1. Are you shutting down others without even knowing it?
  2. Do you have a need for others to be wrong?
  3. Do you feel like you are defending your position to others on a regular basis?
  4. Are you often trying to prove your point to others?
  5. Do you feel like it’s your job to correct others regularly?

In business, here is what can happen if you are always striving to be right …

  1. Others will resist you, especially if you are arrogant about it.
  2. Some will put up a fight and argue with you.
  3. Once that doesn’t work, they might become passive-aggressive with you.
  4. Then they will completely shut down.
  5. Finally, they stop listening to you.

Remember, just as much as you want your position to be respected and understood by others, the person that you are talking to wants the same thing. So why do you feel that, as a leader, you can take this posture of superiority? Would you want to be a follower of you? Maybe that is a better question to ask yourself …”Would I want to follow me?”

You might be asking yourself, “So, what do I do if I am more interested in being right than effective?” Great question … as in anything, the first piece is to admit that you are a “right junkie!” Start noticing that you would rather be right than effective. Then, email me at dave@positivepolarity.com and ask me for the three keys to being effective in the workplace, as this will replace the need to be right. If you spend time working on being effective, then you will be able to more easily let someone else be right for a change.

In the meantime…think about how you can let someone else share in the joy of being right today! I remember in grade school, the feeling that I got when I answered a question correctly in front of the whole class. What a great rest of the day I had … Do your team a favor and go and find someone that needs to be right. Ask them a question that they are sure to get right. Then congratulate them on the answer and watch their day turn … I dare you to try it!

And one final note, if you are wondering if you are a “right junkie,” ask someone close to you. Trust me, they will let you know if you are more interested in being right or being effective!

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