Predictable effects of being right

Years ago I embraced the concept that "being right is not effective". At the time, I disregarded how the concept was dichotomous (either/or). I also overlooked the paradoxical (both/and) dimensions of being right and effective. The concept seemed very useful as a clear distinction to become more personally effective. The distinction suggests that when we're being ineffective at communicating with, relating to, or caring for others, we're being right instead. It frames the challenge as a departure from self justifications, defensive rationalizations, inflated idealism and intolerance of differences. It reverses the endeavor from getting understood to being understanding or from being interesting to being interested. When we're effective we can acknowledge others' outlooks, concerns, ambitions and struggles. We seem considerate and open minded. We effect others in a good way that engenders trust, mutual respect and cooperation.

Nowadays the concept of being right is more complicated for me. There are four ways to be right. When we're being interested in others and understanding where they are coming from, we discover they are being right in their own ways also. Everyone is being right in one way or another. Each way has effects on the person's state of mind, relationships and circumstances. The challenge is no longer to stop being right. Rather it's to be right about the four ways to everyone is being right and the predictable consequences of each way. When we embrace all four ways of being right, we can take responsibility for our effects on others, even when they cannot do the same in return. We can make others right in ways that transform their situations, as I proposed in the fourth kind of tribe.

  1. We can be right about getting wronged, disgraced, shamed or dishonored. We agree with those who will commiserate with our plight. We bond with those can relate to psychological wounds, misfortunes and tales of woe. Our minds harbor grudges that justify revenge. We aim to restore our honor by committing injustices. There is no justice to be served, only perpetual injustice to mitigate.
  2. We can be right about what worked in the past. We agree with those who act like winners, solve the obvious problems and perpetuate the success. We bond with those who can value traditions, embrace legacy practices and stay in line. Our minds harbor fixations that justify superiority, condescension and contempt toward those who fail to stay the course. We aim to set things right by ostracizing the traitors, saboteurs and misfits. There is an illusion of justice getting serviced by being right about who's wrong and by making things right according to proven successes.
  3. We can be right about what is in the process of changing, what innovations are called for and what needs to be seen differently from before. We agree with those who utilize multiple frames of reference, redefine obvious problems and learn from their mistakes. We bond with those who can get creative, try out different interpretations and use metaphors playfully. Our minds harbor imaginative possibilities, what-if questions and different experiments to explore. We aim to change things for the better by providing the structure and space for others to find their own way when their time is right. Justice is served by serving others with compassion, consideration and understanding.
  4. We can be right about these four ways of being right. We can agree on their terms with anyone who is being right in their own way. We can bond with those who are vastly allowing, non-judgmental and immersed in innocence. Our minds harbor gratitude for what we have, awareness of our interdependence and fascination with what is unfolding. We aim to transform situations by envisioning the emergence of "game changer" developments from the complexity of these four ways of being right. Justice is served by forgiving all that has occurred up until now and from now on.

Having said all that, what I meant to say is "you're so right" about how you read this, what it means to you and where you go with this.

No comments:

Post a Comment