#6 of 8 Surprising Habits That Block Your Influence

2 minute read

“Ah – that’s it…that’s the right answer.”

I’ll confess…I like to be “right” about things…and I bet you do too. 

Our whole lives, we’ve been rewarded for having the right answer.  The kicker is that when we work with people…there is no “right” answer, there are just answers.  When we think we have the right answer, we’re sending the message that others are wrong, even if we don’t intend to.  This triggers resistance in others, slowing down our immediate influence with them, and creates problems for our long-term influence as well. 

Another way this manifests itself is through either/or choices.  You’ve certainly been in a meeting where someone says “well, we either do A or we do B”.  There is a lot of head nodding and discussion about the merits of each.  The clear message has been sent…A and B are the “right” choices, so which one is the best.  

What both right/wrong and either/or do is create problems in how people process the situation and consider options.  If you’ve locked yourself into one or two choices, you’re not using the team’s experience and knowledge.  You’re not considering or creating options that lead to more of what you and the team want.

You’re also not teaching or explaining WHAT WORKS from a particular solution or recommendation.  You aren’t helping people learn from this situation so they are better equipped to address the next situation

What you get from repeated use of this is artificial agreement, group think, and confirmation of YOUR ideas…none of which will really move the team or business forward.

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Wingspan partners with leaders around the world to strengthen their behavioral performance and communication. Our approach centers on creating more intentional outcomes by developing healthy behavior systems, more productive interactions, and more meaningful relationships.