I Hate Being Right!

Check your pride before it becomes excessive.

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“A man’s pride can be his downfall, and he needs to learn when to turn to others for support and guidance.”  – Bear Grylls

I’m sure we all enjoy being right about things. However, being right too often can bring out an excessive amount of pride, and that can lead to many not-so-kind behaviors and outcomes. Many leaders can effectively use pride as a motivational tool with their teams, and that can produce outstanding results. The opposite end of the spectrum is when pride turns evil. Pride can hinder team productivity and outright destroy effective communication & relationships in your organization if you aren’t careful.

Here are a few tips to ensure you keep your pride in check:

Seek out change continuously

All too often we get ‘stuck in our old ways’. Change prevents us from becoming stale, stagnant, and prideful, but also offers us a chance to broaden our horizons by experimenting with new things. Change allows us to experience new processes. Change opens the door for us to learn from others, and keeps us from getting too prideful in our ways; it keeps us open to continuous learning. Change brings new opportunities. This could be as minor as changing the topics of discussion at work or at home; talking to somebody new at work, or taking up a new hobby. It’s very difficult to be prideful when you are forcing yourself to learn from others.

Delegate… then follow

Leaders continuously lead. However, how often do you pass the reigns to somebody else and follow their lead? Give it try, and see how it boosts morale and job satisfaction among your people. The key is to truly follow; don’t delegate and then continue to give orders. Hand off a task to somebody, then ensure they understand you are there to follow and support them. This may involve allowing them to fail… that’s alright; valuable lessons spring up out of failure. Continue to follow them through their learning process. It’s easy for a leader to lead; following takes a unique ability to put your pride to the side and trust your people.

Ask questions… then listen to the answers

All too often pride settles in and we begin to think we know everything; every perspective; every idea; every scenario. It’s at that point we need to start questioning the people around us; however, you should not necessarily be looking for the answers you want. Instead, seek out answers your people think are best. Most of the time leaders know the answers to the questions they ask; growth comes from answering the questions from a new perspective… the perspective your people can often provide.

Most importantly, really listen to their answers. Consider this ‘refreshing’ your mind… much like you ‘refresh’ your computer’s ‘cookies.’ Our mind has mental models that need to be ‘refreshed’ as well to prevent us from becoming too prideful. Seeking to understand answers you haven’t heard before is a great place to begin the refresh mode.

The bottom line is pride can be a challenging obstacle if you let it get out of control. Keep your pride in check by testing out the tips above. Let me know how they work for you, and share them with others. Keeping pride in-check is something you should be discussing with an accountability partner. Ask them if they think you are too prideful? If you have some over-the-top prideful people in your office, consider printing this blog out and leaving it in a common area… they’ll get the hint!

“Run to Your Challenges… to Achieve Greatness & Stand Out Among Leaders!”

Have Paul speak at your organization; contact him directly at [email protected]

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