I fear being wrong; therefore, I must be right.
For leaders, the fear of being wrong can make it extremely difficult to tolerate members of their management team who challenge their ideas or conclusions.
Over time, dissenting voices become quiet and the management team becomes nothing more than a rubber stamp for the leader’s thinking. The creativity and imagination of the team is lost to the leader and the business. Ultimately, leaders’ fear of being wrong leads to an increased likelihood that they will be wrong. Leaders who need to be right tend to dominate discussions and attempt to control the thinking of others, rather than see others as resources who can expand their understanding of issues and opportunities.
For the next week, stop twice each day — once at midday and once at end of day — and ask your self the following questions:
- In what situation did I feel the need to be right or to avoid being wrong?
- How did I respond?
- How did other people respond to me?
- How could I have responded that would have been more useful?
What did I learn about myself and my leadership from this experience?
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