Have you ever met a know it all? You know the person, no matter what the topic is, they know everything about it and you know nothing about it. When you are talking to that person, how do you feel? What thoughts are going through your mind? Is it a conversation you want to continue? Do you want to talk to this person again?
Truth be told, no one likes a know it all. So what’t the learning point here? Don’t be a know it all. There will be times in a conversation where you may actually know the other person is wrong and you may even know the correct answer. However, be careful how you approach the subject of who’s right and who’s wrong.
In his book How To Win Friends & Influence People, Mr. Dale Carnegie tells us,… if you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struck a direct blow to their intelligence, judgement, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds.
Mr. Carnegie suggests a more gentle approach when letting some one know they are wrong. He suggest taking the approach of saying that you may be wrong when you present your thoughts. Listen to what he says, You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong. That will stop all argument and inspire your opponent to be just as fair and open and broad-minded as you are. It will make him want to admit that he, too, may be wrong.
So next time you’re in a conversation and you know the other person is wrong and you’re right, instead of calling him out on it, try this gentler approach and see what happens?
What are some other ways you can approach this gently?