When I was 5, I argued with my cat and yelled, “Liar. Liar. Pants on Fire.” I won the argument because Cleo stopped what she was doing and sauntered off. So obedient, you know, like all cats. (Or at least, that is how I choose to remember it).
Today, I disagreed with a coworker on a particular approach. We both jockeyed to win the argument. She was right. But then I was right. And then she was right. So, back and forth, we went.
And you know who won?
Neither of us.
It became about ‘winning’ very quickly and not about the work. Or the best way to achieve the outcome. Or what’s best for the customer.
It was simply, “I’m right. She’s wrong. And I’m right.”
And it sucked.
I immediately felt terrible about having slipped into a triggered mentality so quickly.
I often see this in work settings.
Two people might have differing opinions on an approach, but at some point, the disagreement becomes about “winning” and not the opinions.
When you start from a place of “I’m right,” you tend not to listen to logic.
I regret not catching myself at this moment.
Next time, and luckily there is always a next time with opinions, I plan to take a more empathetic approach. I hope to lean more into learning and be considerate of opposing ideas.
Humans are awesome. However, if we all take the approach of winning our arguments, they’ll be less awesome.