Being Right :
What Price Do You Pay?
Is It Worth the Stress?

Is Being Right Wrong?

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with several employees about their views on conflict, dealing with difficult people, what to do when you are responsible for a project (but don't have the authority) and how to get things done when others aren't cooperating. You know--the usual stuff at work that are cited as some of the most common stressors.

I was surprised by how many people basically said, "They are wrong and I am right and I will continue to remind them of that until they do what they need to do." Now, these weren't the exact words, of course. These words are a summary of several 20-30 minutes conversations, but that says it in a nutshell.

I was stunned that no one considered problem solving, setting up a meeting to discuss both perspectives, or even asking for advice from someone with more experience. It seemed these folks were simply comfortable with being right (in their opinion) and that rightness would prevail.

But rightness and being effective are not always aligned. Sometimes you have to push aside your reason, logic, and negative opinion of another to do a good job---be it at work or home. Being right, in my mind, is not standing stubbornly in defense of your position. Instead it is about getting the best outcome from the situation.

Did you meet the deadline? Is everything working smoothly? Are people communicating better? Did we come in at (or under) budget? Is my child adjusting to school? Will we be able to retire without financial anxiety? Am I calm, at peace, happy...or am I mostly stressed out ?

I guess what I am saying is RIGHT LIVING is more important than BEING RIGHT. Instead of arguing or talking about someone negatively or sending defensive e-mails, how about trying something different?

~ Use your best communication skills (these are sometimes referred to as “manners” :)

~ Work past your ego. All your "people problems" will disappear when you stop defending your ego. How do you know when it's real and when it's just your ego? You are more concerned with being RIGHT then solving the problem.

~ Stop trying to give the impression you are perfect. It has never worked, and it never will.

~ Work toward getting a good night's sleep (I know BEING RIGHT can keep one tossing and turning---I've had a few of those nights myself!)

For more information and great resources for handling conflict, visit

Communication and Conflict.Com.

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