Too many people are blindsided because they think that being right is enough. It isn’t. And righteousness can make you blind to the unwanted consequences you’ll create.
So what should you do when you’re absolutely right about what’s wrong?
Three examples of blinding righteousness:
To read the rest of this article from the East Bay Business Times, see: Being righteous can blind you to unwanted consequences http://eastbay.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2006/11/27/smallb3.html
All three examples had the same underlying pattern: people who were sure they were right and confronted, harassed and bullied other people with their righteousness. In each case also, the other people pushed back hard, and the righteous person suffered and felt blindsided by unwanted consequences.
Sally was surprised her boss was angry after the grapevine told him what she said behind his back. After all, Sally knew she was right. She was also surprised her boss thought she was negative, difficult to work with, didn’t want to plan with her and now had his eyes out for her replacement.
Jane was always surprised when people disliked her. She couldn’t understand why. She was only telling the truth. She was also surprised when Barry’s boss wrote her up as abrasive, abusive, disruptive, bullying and not a team player.
Harry was released that day. The owner said that although Harry had tremendous promise and had been the spark plug of the project, he wouldn’t allow any employee to take that hostile approach with senior staff. They’d suffer without him but they’d manage.
Sally, Jane and Harry’s righteousness blinded them to fairly predictable reactions from the people around them and to the importance of acting strategically in making their points.
I’m not saying they should have overlooked what they saw and remained silent. But being right isn’t enough.
Be strategic in how you go about trying to fix the problem. After you’ve judged what you see, step back and think about the most effective strategy to change the situation without going up in flames.
If you’ve decided that you’re being treated unfairly and the situation won’t be rectified, make your point with good grace and leave, if necessary, with a good referral. Or choose to go up in flames and be happy with the consequences of your choices.
Good tactics and high standards protect everyone from unprofessional behavior. You can learn to eliminate the high cost of low attitudes, behavior and performance.