@stephenparker on Twitter asked an excellent question:
Is it better to be objective in our decision making, or should our relationships play a role? Is it better to be right or loyal?
What a great question. Here’s my answer:
I used to be very into “being right.” After many, many years, I reviewed it (as in my “review your decision-making” post) and and realized that it wasn’t working for me. Once I was out of school, no one cared if I was right, and right/wrong struggles destroy relationships. While I let go of the need to be right as much as possible, I still adhere strongly to my sense of ethics and integrity.
It’s also important to note that I was wrong once. I think it was in 3rd grade? Maybe 2nd? If I was wrong once, it could happen again. So even if I think something’s “right,” I might be wrong, right?
At some point, the notion of “right” got much richer for me. It’s no longer just “is it computationally correct that 4+4=8,” but it involves understanding the impact of my answers on everyone involved. Sometimes, the “right” answer is painful, awkward, or unkind in ways that trump being right. Sometimes, I may know I’m right(*), but someone else is so set in their world view that pushing it does nothing good for the relationship.
What good is being right if there’s no one else in the room who cares?
What do you think is best? Being right? Being loyal? Being kind? Being wise?