“Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” – Ezra T. Benson
When we focus on “who is right” it is very easy for personal emotions to come into play which often leads to clouding our view – worrying about “who is right” becomes a matter of pride of self rather than a consideration of how others are affected and it only allows one to view things in a short-term perspective. On the contrary, when we focus on “what is right” it takes self’ out of the equation entirely, allowing us to view things with a long-term perspective which allows us to acknowledge all of the facts, keeps our minds open to hearing other people’s viewpoints, and come to a determination of what the right thing to do based on integrity and principles.
A rule that’s taught in business is that in order to succeed you need to attack the problem, not the person. When people start attacking a person that person will naturally slip into a defensive mode to avoid taking any blame. Things quickly turn into an argument about “who is right” rather than anyone really paying attention to “what is right”. In order to keep everyone focused on finding solutions together a leader has to ensure that the team stays focused on the “what” rather than the “who”, allowing everyone to participate in formulating the best and right solution for going forward.
Pride is a dangerous thing. It makes us dig in our heels, it shuts us down to anyone else’s point of view, it strips us of the ability to feel empathy, and it alienates our relationships. Humility, on the other hand, allows us to look at every facet of a situation, it allows us to be sensitive to other people’s feelings, it allows us to be forgiving of other people’s shortcomings, it allows us to really listen with an intent to understand, and it allows us to communicate in a voice that allows our message to be truly heard.
As we head into this week perhaps we can all do better to let go of caring “who is right” and just focus on doing “what is right”. Have a fantastic start to your week!
~Amy Rees Anderson