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Incorporate Being Wrong

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

“I’m not always right. Well, yes, I think I am. If I thought I was wrong I’d change to something else, and then I’d be right again.”

That comment about always being right is a direct quote from an executive life coaching client. And, while we laughed about what came out of his mouth, there is profound truth to it. Our natural tendency to get stuck on our own perspective prevents us from innovative negotiations, powerful connections, and creative solutions. Influencing others – professionally and personally – requires us to look outside our opinion to see new opportunities.

So, how can you train yourself to become a more influential leader, employee, or friend? Try this coaching exercise to gain a new perspective on a challenge you’re facing today.

Woman in the city

  1. Jot down the BIG PICTURE change you would like to see. If all things turn out just as you recommend, what will the overall situation look like in the end?

  2. Imagine SLICING that big change into three individual parts. These are three small changes that will be instrumental in the overall success of your project.

  3. Choose one of those small slices and CHANGE YOUR DEFINITION of what SUCCESS will look like – in just that tiny area of this big picture. Ask yourself, “What can I accept in this section of the project, as long as the other two sections go my way?” Repeat this step for each of the slices.

Now, as you reconsider your challenge, notice how open-minded you are! Go into your next meeting or conversation with more creative ideas to move this project forward to a better place. Thomas Dewar, a 1920’s businessman said, “Minds are like parachutes – they only function when open.” I wish you an open mind to assist in all your future problem-solving.

“A great manager incorporates the possibility of being wrong into finding productive solutions.”
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