Very few people like being wrong. It’s our nature to want to be right, sometimes even in the face of overwhelming evidence that we are, indeed, wrong.
How many times have you seen someone continue to defend a position simply out of pure stubbornness? (I know I’m guilty of it.)
Being wrong isn’t easy. In fact, the second that many business owners realize that they were wrong about something their first instinct might be to run and hide, or to blame an employee or a client. That is not the best response even if it might be the easiest.
Kathryn Schulz, author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error says, “every instance of wrongness is an opportunity to learn and to see something in a new way.”
Why is being able to say, “I was wrong” important in business? Because today with the super fast pace of technology and the hyper-connectivity of your customers one big mistake can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in sales.
Say, for example, you purchase new e-commerce software. You believe it will make online shopping for your customers easier and more efficient. You promise your customers that they will love the new shopping cart, it will be easier and on and on. Then, when everything is up and launched you realize that the software not only isn’t living up to expectations but it’s an outright disaster. Orders are lost, customers are disappointed and you are frustrated.
Running away will only hurt your business further. Instead, realize that while you had great hopes for the software it was a mistake. Admit and communicate to your customers (and/or employees) that you were wrong about the software. Then maybe offer a discount to entice customers to come back in a couple of days when the old software is up and running again.
In this case becoming aware of the problem and facing it head-on can save you a lot of time, money and negative press.
It’s not so hard to say – I was wrong. I screwed up. I should have communicated, should have noticed the mistake, should have done the right thing. I will take responsibility for my business. I will take action to make this right and I will do my best to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.
That wasn’t so hard, now was it?
Two elements of successful leadership: a willingness to be wrong and an eagerness to admit it. – Seth Godin
Was there ever a time you made a mistake? Did you own up to it or did you hide? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
You can find more of Vicki’s article right here on her profile page!