As any HR practitioner will tell you, a lot of our time and energy is often spent on conflict be that mediation, dispute resolution or providing performance counselling with employees around workplace behaviours.
While this is not a pleasant experience for the employees involved, it’s made much easier when the parties are genuinely self-reflective, can take ownership of their part in the conflict but more importantly, when they give each other the respect of appreciating that individually they each have differing views and opinions.
The power of letting go, of the need to be right can have a massively positive impact when navigating conflict both at work and within your personal life – improved relationships all round.
If you’re the type who always needs to be right, then is this need really serving you when you run the risk of losing the relationship be that with your loved one, your work colleague, your close friend or anyone for that matter?
When you master the art of letting go your own personal need to be right at all costs, your relationships are preserved, strengthened even.
In managing relationships, people who are secure trust that they are OK, that their beliefs are good for them and that they only need to follow what is right for them. They appreciate that they don’t need to constantly “prove their point” to others as this often leads to or exacerbates conflict.
This affliction of “righteousness” can also find two conflicting parties on different sides of the argument – being right! How is this possible? It’s a matter of perspective. Take for example the letter “P”. If you and a friend stood on at either end of this letter, one would see the letter “P” and the other, the letter “d”. You could stand there and argue the merits of the letter all day and not agree – yet you’d both be right.
The way to letting go of wanting to be right in every conflict is to ask yourself: “Would I rather be right or kind” or, in different circumstances, it might be “would I rather be right or professional?”
Being kind is not about yielding or letting the other person win. It’s about having the desire and willingness to display empathy around the conflict by seeing things from the other person’s perspective. When you do this, you give yourself and other person permission to see “P” or “d” as it stands. This will ease the stress that the conflict created.
Being right is so overrated, especially when it comes at the expense of basic human kindness. Inherent in the need to be right is the desire – consciously or not – to put ourselves above others, to make them wrong in order to appease our own insecurities and our egos.
I am of the belief that it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable and to arrive at this point you have to leave your ego behind, learn to have the proper conversation where you express your point of view and give the other party the courtesy of listening to their reply. There is a reason why we have two ears and one mouth – to speak half as much as we listen.