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Check your ego at the door

April 11, 2007

I’ve got to work on this – it’s holding me back. 

Here’s the scenario – I’ve spent months doing what I think is the research to come up with a sound proposal, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the right answer.  Now I  go forward to share it, to get “buy in” and support, and people  naturally have questions.   Some questions are subjectively better than others, but all deserve calm and well reasoned answers.

Enter ego.  It’s insidious at times, working at subconscious levels, telling me that I’m right.  Quickly I’m sounding defensive, I see the conversation as a debate, and I’m clinging to my point of view like it’s the deck railing of the Titanic.  I forget all I’ve learned about complimenting others on having a good point, and then asking counter questions to explore their point of view and give them an opportunity to say more and be heard.  I’m trying to verbally arm wrestle instead of embracing and adapting.

It takes a lot of effort to retrain yourself, in order to be more successful.  What you know about how and what you should do is momentarily lost in an instant, to a quick swell of emotion.

Anybody else find this to be true?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 11, 2007 6:43 pm

    I think it takes effort, and some training. I’d like to say I always listen others like they have a valid point and the door to truth, but I often find myself in the same kind of defensive position you describe.

    Funny enough it happens more to me when the people “questioning” me lack my professional respect on the matter in discussion. Yes, I know, it’s prejudging them; I’m aware of that fact… and many times I’ve been proven wrong with things coming from the least likely source.

    I find the best way I have to deal with this kind of things is by not keeping ideas too close to my heart. Sure, sometimes our ideas go in the wrong direction and we have to discard a whole lot of work; yet not all is loss, the learning remains and you never know when something you came up with for project A, ends up being much more useful in project B.

  2. April 12, 2007 7:35 pm

    Hell no -I’m always perfect.

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