How Are You Right?

How you are right is more important than being right. Don’t believe me? Tell me this story hasn’t been repeated a few times in your home.

Early in my marriage, my wife and I were arguing about something. We each thought we were right. I was right. Finally, after a bit of a verbal battle, I won. She reluctantly admitted that I was right.


But I still slept on the sofa that night. This is when I learned the difference between “being right” and “how I am right.”

“Being right” is a matter of facts. It’s the right answer, statistic, or information. It can be fact-checked on the Internet. Facts are cold and emotion-less.

“How I am right” is a matter of opinion. It’s about the social interaction that takes place during the discussion. It’s about the tone of voice, body language and attitudes I demonstrate. How you are right can generate a lot of emotion.

Am I right with kindness? With respect? With humility?

The emotions are all in the “how” of being right.

Think of the last time you were right in a heated discussion. How were you right and what may you have communicated to the other person?

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    Keith is President of Creative Results Management. He helps busy leaders multiply their impact. Keith is the author of several books including The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

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