What If You’re Wrong?

You all were silent on my question in the last post.  I know you’re out there reading my last interview.  I have the bar graphs to prove it.  Does that mean that you have no answers to my questions.  Hmm.

Well, in addition to what I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been reading a few articles, having a handful of conversations lately that are leaving me very open to being wrong.  Advising a couple on the best way to get adjusted to a new city and a new church.  Talking to a husband who’s having difficulty in his marriage.  Hearing from a staff person about the best way to connect people in the church.  Being asked questions from soon-to-be pastors about what it’s like serving in a congregation.  Talking with my supervisor about church planting and strategy related to it. 

In each one of these sets of conversations, I’m aware that there are many things I know and many things I don’t.  I have this growing sense of my own boundaries, my own limits, and they yell over to my strengths like that line in Ms. Esco’s gym class, “Red Rover, Red Rover.”

But I don’t like being wrong.  My friends will tell you, when they’re honest, that I’m seldom wrong.  Just kidding.  I’m wrong at least twice a year.  My wife may disagree but what does she know?  I hope you’re catching my humor here because I’m wrong more than I’m right.  

I told the group of my coworkers at our staff meeting that when I don’t know what to do, when I can’t find a resource or solution to something, I make things up.  I told them–and this is true–that I believe good leaders make up solutions, and that that means being creative when there is no existing solution.  Leaders are creative, but we must also be aware of when we’re doing something new or different.  We must be willing to own that creative moment and call it the risk that it is.  We must say as quickly as we offer that possible solution that the solution itself it tentative.  When solutions or beliefs or opinions are tentative, we’re humble about them.  We know we might be challenged or, worse, wrong.

Questions for you: How do you respond when you’re challenged?  When something you believe or promote or stand for is questioned?


4 thoughts on “What If You’re Wrong?

  1. Over the years of me listening and learning how to adjust. To the idea that i might be wrong. Thats still a tough 1 for me sir. Because when you truly believe your right its hard to get me to agree. So now from all ur wisdom you have shown me this is how

  2. I deal with it. I will go somwhere alone and look @ both point of views.And if I feel the other person is right I will go back to them and admit it. No one is always right.lol

  3. I think it is more important to be in right relationship than to be right. If I’m wrong–I often feel embarrassed or some sense of shame. I can become defensive and try to prove how really right I am. But, that doesn’t work unless the issue involves opinions/values/impressions instead of cold hard facts. But, often, in discussion, heated or not–the issue is to understand rather than be right, to learn and grow rather than be stuck but (feeling) righteous. There–you have two comments from me… 🙂

    • Two great comments from you, Linda! Thank you. I’ll consider the novel a bit longer and share some thoughts. It may be a bit ambitious to fold that into an interview with Ms. Lahiri! Appreciate your comments.

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