#2 The Need to be Always Right
We’re in a series entitled “Five Top Leadership Blind Spots.” Last week we looked at the tendency for leaders to make themselves the exception to the rule. Another blind spot for leaders is the need to be always right. Wow! As if we can really be right all the time!?!
None of us like to admit we are wrong, but it’s craziness to think we can be right all the time. Yet, some of us feel like we must be right, at least 99.9% of the time. Call it overconfidence, but usually, it’s insecurity. Often we are overcompensating, trying to protect ourselves or ignore a serious problem in our own lives.
Ironically, the need to be right at all costs diminishes our influence and effectiveness. Only as we admit our shortcomings can leadership thrive.
If you already know all the answers, you shut others out instead of inviting their engagement. You keep all the glory for yourself at the expense of developing enthusiastic teamwork. — Marlene Chism
So, if you are a leader who doesn’t think you have this blind spot of always being right, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself or have someone answer for you :- ) …
- How frequently do I admit I was wrong?
- Do I tend to blame others?
- When was the last time you changed your mind because of other’s counsel?
- How frequently do I truly ask people for their opinions?
- How quick are you willing to say, “I’m sorry!” or “Please forgive me.”
- Am I willing to admit that I might need help from others?
- Do I stop listening to people who see things a different way than I do?
- Do I easily play the victim when criticized?
- Am I a “my way or the highway” kind of person?
These questions can show you the extent of your “needing to be right.” Rather than being right, be open to new information and be willing to change your mind. It’s okay! You don’t have to be right all the time but you do need to be willing to make things right when you’ve been wrong!
BEFORE YOU GO
So what do you do to combat this blind spot?
1. Admit your need to be always right.
2. Be aware of your defensiveness. Just embrace the fact that you’ll make mistakes.
3. Seek advice. Do it sincerely and with an open mind (as much as possible).
Being more aware of any blind spot requires humility. It means listening more than talking. It means taking the log out of your own eye before trying to take the speck of sawdust out of someone else’s eye (Matthew 7:5)
Next Week: Blindspot #3 Unintentional Intimidation!