Leadership Tactic #71: Just Try It

A few weeks ago I was kind of a jerk at work.

It would be inappropriate for me to go into details, but basically, a coworker and I disagreed about a certain type of publicity we were doing. I thought the existing Option A was the right way to go, and my coworker thought that the new Option B was better. We were at an impasse.

Sometimes it takes an extreme reaction to snap out of a bad situation. It suddenly hit me that I was raising my voice. I rarely raise my voice, even in the most heated of arguments.

The second I realized I was raising my voice, I snapped out of it. I realized: This is not a big deal. This is not a life or death, make or break situation (very few situations are). Absolutely nothing would be lost in trying out my coworker’s idea.

So I turned to my coworker and said, “Let’s try it. I don’t agree with you, but let’s try your idea for a few weeks. We’ll see how it works out, and if it doesn’t, we’ll switch back to Option A.”

Instantly the air was cleared, and we switched to Option B.

Sometimes we’re so caught up in the idea of how right we are that we shut out the mere possibility that there might be a better idea. Whether it’s ego or conviction or control, we all have this thing inside of us that says “no” all too quickly.

Here’s the kicker: You’re probably right, and the other person is probably wrong. But is it really worth fighting over? Is the world going to end if you try out their idea for a little bit? 99% of the time, everything’s going to be fine. And if they really are wrong, the only way they’re going to realize it is if they get to try out their idea.

When is the last time that you saw something like this happen?

2 thoughts on “Leadership Tactic #71: Just Try It”

  1. This happens to me all the time. To the point where my family has asked me repeatedly (to make me snap out of it) whether I’d rather be Right or Happy. This is a very hard question for me, because way too often, being right makes me happy. But it’s over littlest things like where to go for dinner, or when to leave to get somewhere “On Time”. If only there was some kind of meter saying “this issue is only X important. So I will only be X passionate about the outcome.”

    • So you’re usually on the side where you’re convinced that you’re right and you want other people to agree with you? Maybe you could try to pause and determine if you’re going to be truly unhappy if you try what the other person is suggesting.

      Also, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stand your ground on certain things. Like, if you really want to go to New Restaurant X and your friend really wants to go to New Restaurant Y, neither of you is right or wrong. You’ll just have to compromise–maybe the “loser” buys drinks or something. But it’s quite different if you go to Old Restaurant Z every week and one week your friend suggests New Restaurant Y. You might as well try Y even though there is the risk you might not like it.


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