The way some people are wired is that they need to be right (AKA Righties). Righties are continually on trial to prove that what they say, and what they do, is correct. They will often go to great lengths to demonstrate their ‘rightness’, including hurting people they love and respect. These people are not big on apologies as they don’t feel they are necessary or warranted. Yet some give them to keep the peace, even if they don’t mean it.
When having a conversation, they struggle to listen effectively to all the content because they are too busy selecting evidence to build their case. They are many steps away from the ‘real truth’ in discussions as their opinion is the only one that counts. Being wrong is unlikely and unpalatable for a Rightie and not something they like to contemplate. In fact, when you are right you can’t see that you could be wrong. It is a blind spot for many.
You would have worked with these types of thinkers, you may even have them as friends, you may have even married one. They are not bad people. They just have a flawed way of looking at things. But for them, it is right (pardon the pun).
In the workplace, trying to brainstorm a new product or process with Righties can be tough as their idea is the correct one. You may have had passionate discussions (polite name for arguments) with them and you struggle to be heard.
I have spent a long time, and will continue to do so, undoing my ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ thinking. It was in my bones. In my DNA. In my upbringing. Defending my position was what I learnt to have a seat at the table.
‘I’m not arguing. I’m explaining why I’m correct’. If you resonate with this statement then chances are you may need to be right. . It also stifles creativity and innovation as it does not allow for other’s opinions and ideas.
One of the best relationships Righties can have is with themselves. Unfortunately, being a Rightie is also a fast track to a life of professional and personal isolation. Carol Dweck, author of ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’, tells us that type thinking of ‘fixed mindset’ thinking, where things are black or white, win or lose, is an unhealthy one. For us, and for those around us. It is a ‘growth mindset’ we should aim for, where we focus on what we can learn from situations, people and information, that will set us up for a smarter decisions and more productive and satisfying relationships.
A better way of looking at things is ‘I never lose, either I win or I learn’. This works for me. What about you?
To learn more of the thinking traps we fall into, ask me for my white paper; ‘The Board of Directors that live in our head’. There is a solution.