When someone tells me that I am wrong, what do I learn?
“You are not doing that right!”
“How did you let this happen?”
Do I learn what is intended?
I don’t think so. I don’t often know what is intended – that I should feel bad or guilty; or that I need to see the world in a different way, act in a different way? However, what I really learn; being honest is something quite different.
What do I really learn when you tell me I am wrong?
I do often learn one of three things:
- You are stupid
- You are blind
- It is no fun talking to you
Jake Lacaze tells a simple story of a time his mother didn’t tell him he was wrong, but allowed him to learn from a situation.
I have regularly focused on my “rightness” in conversations; and in winning the battle of “rightness”, I lost days of friendship.
Marshall Goldsmith tells us to question “Is is worth it?” as I begin to get into a proof of how another is wrong. I can learn to use the Japanese “Yes”: I hear you, I understand that you see it that way from your point of view; but I don’t accept or deny the statement. I don’t enter into a battle for truth, only accept that 2 different people are guaranteed to have 2 different points of view.
There is a story about blindfolded kids and an elephant that I remember. I am sure you can google it if you haven’t heard it.
If you think you are good at listening without judging try this 1 day listening challenge 😉
So, do you think I am wrong? Or the bigger question, if you did think so, how could you really engage with me in a way that might allow me to open up to the possibility?
What are your thoughts?