#WFH Do You Always Need to Be Right?
Most of us like to be right. We feel much better about things when we feel that our opinion counts and that what we think matters. Unfortunately, being right is not all it is cracked up to be. Doing the right thing might be more important than being right. If we take action and make a mistake at least we are moving toward being authentically productive. If we let inertia overtake us because we want to be right, we go nowhere. The virtual environment is alienating to begin with; couple it with the need to be right all the time and you set yourself up to fail.
Being right has the power to alienate all of those folks who do not think you are right. It is a costly price to pay to keep your ego satisfied. In the virtual world, an ego unchecked can run rampant. It is necessary to be independent but not at the expense of others. This is why collaboration and social networking has become such an integral part of working virtually. The human-to-human connection and the importance of opinions, thoughts and feelings of others are missing unless you are connected.
All our lives, we are taught the importance of being right. In K-12 education and on through most of higher education, the right answer is what is prized. Right is what is rewarded and wrong is what is punished. As a culture, we have moved a little toward accepting diversity and difference, but we still have a long way to go. We readily accept that if there are two or three ways to do something, one has to be the “right” way and superior to the others. We are taught to be narrow-minded, judgmental, moralistic and lack empathy. We are taught to compete and compare and always have the right answer. So we should not be surprised when we grow up and become adults with these characteristics.
In the virtual world, it is even more difficult to justify being right at all costs because the costs are so high. The environment is already isolating and alienating. You really can’t make judgments the way you did in a face-to-face world because the cues are different. You don’t have body language, three dimensions or the benefit of sensing the person’s energy first-hand. In the virtual world, you need to ive folks more room. You want to be more open-minded and less critical and you certainly want to give them every indication of validation and connection.
Collaboration has become the buzzword of virtual interactions for a reason, because we are all in this together. Our entire view of life and reality is being altered by the integration of technologies into our lives. As Sherry Turkle wrote in her book Alone Together, our emotional risks are higher. Even though we are more connected, we are really more alone. “We may be free to work from anywhere, but we are also prone to being lonely everywhere. In a surprising twist, relentless connection leads to a new solitude. We turn to new technology to fill the void, but as technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down
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