Why admitting you’re wrong is the right thing to do

posted by Peter November 28, 2016 0 comments

It’s not that easy to say you are wrong.

It doesn’t only apply to your work either, but it’s as good a place as any to put this particular piece into action.

Because work’s one of those areas where, one, you spend a fair bit of your daylight hours, and two, you’re in an environment where you’re going to cock up now and again.

It is also human, very human, to make mistakes. Aside from the fact that that’s where lots of new ideas arise, making mistakes is part of being a man (or woman).

Don’t overly admit you’re wrong though

Now, don’t go overly admitting you’re wrong if it could be used too much by someone else for their advantage and your disadvantage – but generally speaking, this won’t be the case.

At the same time, you’re better off admitting, early, that you’ve made a mistake or been wrong, than to do so later. (It is partly aligned to the idea, when you’re in a hole, stop digging).

At the very least, this course of action shows you’re not a jerk. Which is nicely explained in this blog post at philosiblog, a person who seems to have a nicely rounded view on life.

This particular blog expands on a witticism/piece of advice by American humourist poet Ogden Nash, who made the observation:

“Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right shut up.”

Possibly the most important thing, when you have admitted a mistake, is to then figure out how to rectify (if required) or take a corrective action so it doesn’t happen again.

Because one of the ironies is, though no one likes admitting they’ve made a mistake, generally speaking other people admire you when you do.

There’s also another reason – a tangential advantage – why admitting you’re wrong is a better policy.
It makes for better ‘war stories’.

An anecdote around ‘I was right’, is never, and basically can’t be, superior to ‘I was wrong’ – as long as it has a bit of a happy ending that is.

(Don’t go thinking I find this one easy myself!)

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