In my 29 years of business experience, I’ve learned that I don’t need to take a majority vote on every issue. I can be in a meeting full of staff members and if I make a decision that’s contrary to what the majority thinks, somebody will pipe up and joke, “It’s unanimous!” But I’ve also learned that I care more about being successful than being right. That requires listening, collaborating and even seeking opposing viewpoints. When we shortchange collaboration, we’re missing an important piece of the performance process. As we discuss diverse opinions, ideas spark new thoughts and one plus one suddenly equals a lot more than two. We arrive at a place none of us would have reached alone, and the project rises to a new level. Even if I disagree with someone’s viewpoint, I try to extract something of value from it.
In my early legal nurse consulting business practice I was sitting in a conference room with two high-powered attorney-clients. We were discussing a medical malpractice case and one of the attorneys disagreed with me. There was a cloud of cigar smoke in the air, my knees were shaking under the table and my first impulse was to argue and defend my position. But I couldn’t so I didn’t. Instead I listened to the attorney’s point of view and agreed that he was on to something significant. Surprise – he didn’t take me to task or talk down to me. We just moved on with our discussion and to years of many more cases together. If at that moment I had needed to be right I would have failed to be successful with those two attorneys. They didn’t expect perfection, but they did expect me to have the insight to know and admit when I was wrong.
Think about your communications with your attorney-clients, CLNC® colleagues, friends, family and co-workers and ask: Is it more important to be right or to be successful? Think hard about your answer.
Success Is Unarguably Inside!
P.S. Comment and share whether you’ve ever had to choose between being right and being successful.