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We didn’t get here by always being right.

January 24, 2011 - 1 Comment

Listening to two scientists on TV recently, it struck me how unproductive always being right can be.

Highly knowledgeable and experienced, both held valid points of view, rooted in evidence. But because each were so engaged in being right, in challenging the others’ position, they went round in circles. Entrenched in their own narrative they couldn’t see anything else. The certainty that came from their knowledge and experience hindered them.

Always being right won’t move us forward. Because people rooted in their own rightness can sometimes shut down discussion and lose out on new perspectives and ideas, leaving no room for movement.

To keep an open mind is to rise above polarities and to see other perspectives. The reward is significant: richer, warmer and collaborative—not competitive—conversations.

At Cisco, the different perspectives of our people are the bridge between our existing practices and beliefs—what we do and think now—and what we could be in the future. The next time you are involved in a discussion, take a few seconds out to see if new ideas and perspectives are being shared…

I’m not suggesting you go out of your way to be wrong, just that you go out of your way not to be so right. Because by hearing different perspectives we can achieve More Together.

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  1. Valid points made! It's human nature to always want to be right and out do others but if we acknowledge that everyone has their perspective and collaborate together to gain more insight then the reward of knowledge gained will be much higher for everyone.