Winning Words

Being right — or doing the right thing

Column by Michael Norton
Posted 8/16/17

Since I am usually an "And" guy instead of an "Or" guy anyway, I would choose to be right and to do the right thing if I could. It's kind of like asking, "Would you like a piece of pie or some ice …

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Winning Words

Being right — or doing the right thing

Posted

Since I am usually an "And" guy instead of an "Or" guy anyway, I would choose to be right and to do the right thing if I could. It's kind of like asking, "Would you like a piece of pie or some ice cream for dessert?" My answer is usually, "I'll have the pie and ice cream, please."

But then again, that's probably not right - nor is it doing the right thing when I am trying to eat a little smarter and healthier these days.

However, there are many times, and I do mean many times, where I know I am not right, or have not been right about something. So, in those cases I hope that I can still do the right thing. I think you know what I mean by this.

And just to make sure we are tracking together, here are some examples.

After having done a lot of research on a sensitive subject, and knowing the facts inside and out, we may find ourselves in a position to share those facts and stand our ground based on principle. However, in a situation where others in the room may be upset, especially after a hardship or loss, and based on the sensitivity of the topic, it may be better to settle for the fact that we know we are right in our head and in our heart, and choose to keep those thoughts to ourselves. Discretion is always appreciated but not always practiced.

In a business meeting or family dinner, we may find someone who is advancing and maturing in their role at the company or growing up through life. They may have some wonderful ideas, lots of creative energy, and may offer up some of those inspired ideas with pride and enthusiasm. Although we may think we know better, this is a perfect example of not trying to be right just for the sake of proving we are right or trying to assert our seniority or life experiences.

Who knows? If we can be open to not being wrong, and just be open to new ideas and thoughts, we may just learn something, too, by simply doing the right thing and listening and exploring instead of placing our stake in the ground to be right.

Recently, I saw some results in an online magazine about ranking specific companies. Knowing the industry fairly well, I had more than my doubts about the findings.

So I sent a message to the publisher and he replied back, standing his ground that the results were based on a recent survey of customers. Since I knew the results were biased, based on his own feelings, my first instinct was to start blasting #fakenews or #fakeresults. But instead I took the person for who he was, understood his place in promoting only the people who advertise with him, and did the right thing - just laughed it off with him.

My belief is that he lost in both categories: He wasn't right, nor did he do the right thing.

So how about you? Do you have the need to always be right? Or are you more driven and satisfied knowing you did the right thing? I would love to hear your story at gotonorton@gmail.com.

And when we can let things slide when appropriate, and do the right thing, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corp., strategic consultant, business and personal coach. 

Michael Norton

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