I had the pleasure of some organizational development training from OD guru Thom Walters. This is a tidbit I wish I practiced more often.
There are two positions we function out of at any given moment: the position of trying to be right and the position of trying to understand. Our current culture is ingrained in the right vs. wrong mentality. In our business it really doesn’t ever matter who is right or wrong. What matters is that we work together to create an amazing outcome both internally, as well for our clients.
When we are in the posture of being right, we are making someone else wrong. This leads directly to tension and defensiveness, causing a polarized situation. We end up all being wrong because we lost our effectiveness to resolve the situation and move the project forward.
When we are in the posture of understanding, we are not necessarily admitting anything or accepting a particular behavior or situation. We are not giving in. We are getting to the bottom of what motivated someone to do what they did, or why they are taking a certain position. The best result is to move people out of defending their position and onto solving the needs of the project and the team.