Being right or being effective?

Sometimes it's in our best interests to be right. We align ourselves with strategies and models which support our interests in being right. We look for ways to assert our stance convincingly, defend our position, substantiate our claims and win arguments with opponents.

Other times, it's in our best interests to be effective at serving others. We align ourselves with numerous ways to make a difference to others who are in need of strategies and models. We look for ways to make sense to others frames of reference, get applied in a variety of contexts and set up the realization of desired outcomes.

These two interests are usually mutually exclusive. Being right will come across as ineffective to anyone who does not agree with our position. Being effective will seemingly compromise the validity, integrity and purity of the righteous stance. The distinction between being right and being effective appears to be a divisive issue.

When we pursue our interests in being right, we find that we're compelled to make others wrong. We frame others as our enemies, rather than as our customers, end users or fellow designers. Being right is not effective at winning their hearts and minds or their trust and respect.

When we're being right, we presume we're being effective. We conflate the two alternatives. We dismiss the evidence that we're being ineffective, depleting the trust account or dishing our disrespect. We appear hypocritical to others who receive the mixed messages from what we're saying and and how we come across to them.

When we're being effective, we discern the high cost of being right. We see the choices to voice for others to catch themselves being ineffective, toxic or contrary to their best interests. We perceive the effects we can have on others' interests by acting in their interests ourselves.

In actor-network terms, we function as intermediaries when we're being effective. We redefine others' interests as worthy of our respect and alignment which redefines ourselves as respectable and effective. We define roles for them and us where the effects on each other and shared situations will be enhanced or even transformed.

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