The pursuit of right answers over being right [New Blog Post]

 

Admitting when we are wrong can be difficult. Our ego is easily offended when our ideas are challenged. When it comes to being effective and achieving great results, ego is the enemy.

The key to achieving great results and making a huge impact is the pursuit of right answers over being right.

No matter your position, CEO or custodian, everyone has great ideas they can bring to the conversation when working in collaboration as a team. Now, not every custodial decision needs input from the CEO and vice-versa.

The objective is to create the space needed for deep dialog that pursues results over being right.

I’ve been in meetings where I raised my voice and argued my position, and luckily there were others in the room willing to do the same. We were open to other possibilities; we were able to argue our positions and also acknowledge the ways we were also wrong.

The team was more concerned with right answers over being right.

Kim Scott in her book “Radical Candor” shares about creating these types of environments.

She says:
“Make it safe to “speak truth to power” at all levels of the organization; encourage your team to tell you when you are wrong.
If a person is bold enough to criticize you, do not critique their criticism. At Apple, as at Google, a boss’s ability to achieve results had a lot more to do with listening and seeking to understand than it did with telling people what to do; more to do with debating than directing; more to do with pushing people to decide than with being the decider; more to do with persuading than with giving orders; more to do with learning than with knowing.”

I completely agree.

Everyone has bad ideas and makes wrong decisions. When you create an environment that encourages you to challenge ideas, admit when you’re wrong and share your ideas freely, you will see your team begin to make tremendous strides towards accomplishing your goals by getting to the right answers.

So what steps can you and your team take to ensure you are pursuing right answers over being right?

1. Have ideas but hold onto them loosely.
Just because you have what you consider to be an excellent idea doesn’t mean that the timing is right or that there isn’t a better one that will help to move the project, or organization forward.

2. Listen with your heart not just your ears.
It’s easy to hear with our ears and ignore with our hearts; this can be even more difficult if we are set on being right. Listening with our heart says”I’m going to seek to understand you and your position by placing myself in your shoes.

3. Be willing to debate with your team.
Having a willingness to debate as a team will help you to dig until you find the right answers.

4. Be supportive as a team player when another idea is chosen.
In the end, someone has to make the final decision; collaboration does not mean consensus.

As we pursue right answers over being right, we deepen our level of trust as our team and dismantle potential silos before they happen.

Everyone likes to be right, but pursuing right answers are better.

Question: What would you add to the list? I love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below.