Archive for April 9th, 2019

“Do you want it to work, or do you want to be right?”


POV: None of us own the truth, we tend to think our reality is THE reality, but if we really look at it, I don’t own the truth and your reality isn’t THE reality, you simply have your own perspective and I have mine. You have your reality and I have mine and neither is more real than the other. Instead of thinking in terms of being right or wrong about an opinion, idea, or point of view, may I suggest a new approach? Let’s think in terms of “workability”.

By “work” what I mean is:

 1) Does it produce the results you are looking for?

2) Does it generate the experience you are looking for?

When we come from a framework of thinking of “right” and “wrong”, we get positioned, take sides, get resistant and stubborn and the fight is on! Does this approach to discussing differences or even heated disagreements, work? Does it produce effective results? I think not. It creates stalemates, animosity and separation and the problem is not resolved. So rather than identify a person or an idea or a point of view as right or wrong, let’s ask, “How can we communicate in a way that will work?” “How do I need to think and operate differently so it works for both of us?”

If an attempt to do something doesn’t work, then it’s not considered a mistake or a failure. It doesn’t make the person “wrong”. They simply did something that didn’t work. There is no critical judgment about it, but rather, there is a practical judgment about it. That’s all.

It isn’t good, it isn’t bad, it simply needs to “work”. Most of us want a climate of creativity and cooperation whether it is in the workplace or at home, where people feel free to explore, express ideas, try new things and be heard without any concern for criticism. The only criteria we need to look for when entertaining an idea, a point of view or a suggestion is, “Will it work? Does it make for a better relationship, smoother functionality at work and produce the result we are looking for?”

If you are bothered about the way something is being done or if there is a problem with an individual or a performance or a communication, or if something is annoying you about a family member and you are feeling uncomfortable, unhappy frustrated, or angry – that would be considered as something that’s “unworkable”. It’s not right, not wrong, it simply “doesn’t work for me (for the company or for my relationships).” Let’s not slip into moral judgment because all that does is create resistance and defensiveness and besides, who are we to morally judge another anyway? All we want is workability.

This point of view can also be applied to one’s own behaviors. If I find myself feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts and maybe complaining a bit, I stop, look in the mirror and ask myself, “How’s this working for you, Martha?”

“It’s NOT WORKING for me!!” I say. I’m not getting the results I want, nor am I having the experience I am looking for. At that point, I need to stop my actions, reactions or inactions and ask myself, “What will work?”

I then need to make the appropriate changes. Nothing to be right about, to defend, hold on to, no agenda to prove, simply let go and do what works. That’s all.

To achieve this, we need to check our egos at the door. Self-righteous ego protective actions can throw a wrench into the best laid plans. Let’s rise above our egos and show the world how mature adults conduct themselves while achieving a goal, producing phenomenal success and communicating effectively. Let’s not sink into judgmental “right” and “wrong” thinking.

Let’s simply ask ourselves, “What will work?” And then go do it.

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