Sunday, April 18, 2010

Would we rather be right? Or find an answer?

One of my favorite mentors posed this question. "Would you rather be right, or would you rather find an answer/solution?". This question was in the context of story he told about a study done with a group of stock investors. Certain investors as part of the study were given a large amount of money to trade with. Some were very educated and respected investors. During the study as well as towards the end some key decisions needed to be made.  Stock prices were all over the board, and critical decisions has to be made.  There were some who decided to ride it out, but the prices continued to decrease. Some in this group were unwilling to change having gone so far.  They decided to just stick with it because they didn't want to admit en error and loose their image. They insisted on being right and that somehow the stock prices would eventually rebound and confirm how right they were. They ended up loosing everything. But in their mind they were "right" and it was the system that didn't function properly. On the other hand there were other participants who were willing to learn, and make mistakes, and then keep learning, being willing to accept a poor choice or decision.  They ended up coming out not only ahead but overall more satisfied. Some were more interested in being right, in maintaining their image than having success.

Sometimes being "right" about how "wrong" others are is the very thing that stops you from finding a solution.  Needing to be right can be terribly blinding.

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