Stop being wrong now! (ask me how…)
Is it possible to always be right?
I ran a small workshop last week, about being always right…
Goes like this:
To not be wrong you should do one of the three:
- Shut up.
- Ask question (that contain no assumed statements)
- State only what you are certain of.
Since 1 and 2 are easy (for some of us ;), let’s focus on #3:
What are your certain domains of expertise?
- Is there a subject where you are the world expert
- A Subject on which no-one can contradict you…
Think about it for a minute…
Ready? What’s your domain of expertise?
It turns out such a domain exists!
It is You!
You are the world expert of You.
Hence: To be right, speak only about (your Domain of expertise) Yourself.
If you say ‘I am happy’, no-one can say ‘You are not’.
If you say ‘I don’t understand’, no-one can say ‘You do’.
If you say ‘I think you don’t understand’, no one can say ‘You don’t think that…’
Hench, if your sentences are about you, no one can contradict you!
The sentence: ‘It is hot’ may be contradicted by ‘No it isn’t’
The sentence: ‘You are wrong’ can be contradicted by ‘I’m not’
But how about ‘I feel it’s hot’ or ‘It’s too hot for me’ ?
How about ‘I think you are wrong’ ?
- This can’t be met with ‘It isn’t too hot for you’, or ‘You don’t think that’ !!
To sum up:
To be always right, I suggest
you start your sentence (and your mindset) by:
- ’I feel’,
- ‘I think’,
- ‘To my knowledge’,
- ‘The way I see it, …’,
Bonus #1 : How not to piss me (or anyone) off (or at least less…)
People who are always right are so god-darn annoying!
Hence, to raise less resistance and conflict
With me or anyone else…
I advise you not to speak of what you are not an expert of.
(especially if you speak to THE #1 expert of the domain :)
I personally get jumpy and impatient when someone speaks knowingly and decisively about my domain of expertise, so not to piss me (personally) or your peers (theoretically) off, please avoid starting a sentences (that is not a question) by:
- You don’t understand
- You should do this
- You shouldn’t do that
- You think that…
- You are not being honest
- The way you should think about it is… (I’ve heard a lot of those :)
- You understand perfectly
- You don’t see the full picture
- You are not serious
Or even (for the advanced bonus)
- We should do this
- We are wrong
- We are right
… You can try instead the following (and I promise I won’t get upset…):
“I think you don’t understand”
“I suggest you do this”
“I think we should decide that”
- Why you should never assume:
2. Don’t tell me what to say, please:
3. Only an expert can deal with the problem!
I hope you enjoyed this one… (I sure did! :)
Yours (If you’ll have me),
- The Scrum’em bear.
Bonus #2 (advanced section):
After you mastered being right, you are certified to teach it.
The problem is most people hate being corrected…
After a long research (and some stones being thrown at me…) the best way I found is rephrasing what people say.
So, when someone tells you: “This is the problem”,
Ask innocently: “You meant to say you think this is the problem, right?”
When someone tells you “you are wrong”
Ask “You mean to say you think I’m wrong ?”
Let me know how it went!