In the meantime, you may have been harmful, or at minimum not helpful. I’ve been there. You have to ask yourself; ‘Would you rather be right or kind?’
Honestly I’m scared about this post, because it’s a bit vulnerable and shows you an uglier side to me. One of my greatest fears is being deeply known (funny thing is, that’s also one of my greatest desires). But here we go.
Would you rather be right or would you rather be kind?
There are certain situations where this desire is triggered, like politics (sometimes it’s hard to understand a different perspective), miscommunications, or (here’s the ugly) when I find someone annoying and want to prove them wrong. This has been an ongoing struggle of mine that I’m working to overcome.
But, today I want to talk about this struggle from a client process perspective. For example, when a client doesn’t communicate something clearly this desire to be right creeps (or barrels) in. Instead of owning my part in the miscommunication and learning from it, my pride wants to say ‘but, you said…’ or ‘that’s not what you said earlier‘. I communicate via email with most of my clients, and tone can already be hard to interpret there.
In handling these times, I ask myself a few things:
Maybe an apology, but more likely the relationship has been harmed. Really the only thing that would be bolstered is my pride, and pride doesn’t get or retain clients. You know what does? Kindness. Excellence at your craft. Providing value they need.
Please, don’t misinterpret me here. I’m not proposing that you allow yourself to be trampled over for the sake of being kind. Specifically I’m talking about situations where pride wants to win. The situations where your skin bristles and you want to ‘set the other person straight’. I’d much rather be good and kind than right. Yes, there are things that are absolutely worth standing your ground on, but let’s not abandon kindness for the sake of our pride.
This was specifically from a client experience perspective, but this really applies to all of life.