I am a sincere admirer of Ray Dalio. In his book Principles: Lide and work ( I could also call this whole thinking method), he invites readers to challenge our egos, our beliefs and our need to prove ourselves being right.
To be effective you must not let your need to be right be more important than your need to find out what’s true. If you are too proud of what you know or of how good you are at something you will learn less, make inferior decisions, and fall short of your potential.
― Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
Once I have read it, I thought — yes, yes, yes, I agree!!! This is what we all, and of course, I, should be doing! So, starting today, I am committing to search for the truth, not just simply trying to know/decide/implement everything myself. I know this being a good path for me, for the world, for the decisions we as human nations are taking each day.
And I really believed I was doing it right- staying mindful, aware and keeping on asking questions.
Oh my, I was so naive, thinking one nice book is enough to change my life-long need to be accepted, understood, loved, encouraged, approved and agreed with! Life arranged a test for me soon after. Nothing special, just standard everyday situation, small challenge, where I have failed immediately.
I and my team were organising a workshop for our colleagues. After the preparation was done, I received a polite email from another coworker, suggesting, that the purpose of the event should have been slightly different, touching on more opinions and opening new opportunities for future collaborations.
That set my ego-mind of fire. I felt criticised. I felt not appreciated. I felt about dropping everything and letting her do the program herself. In the end, I wanted to achieve the same thing as her. I am sure there are multiple ways to launch an initiative. So why the hack we could just not proceed with my approach? Even more, why we were not discussed this before, and input comes after it is almost going live?
It took me a weekend to realize, how I simply want to push my way, instead of accepting the invitation of bridge-building. Invitation to figure out the best way to engage other departments into our new program. If there are multiple ways to do this, so how we could nail down the best approach towards it?
I think you guess, that this story has a nice end, me opening for conversation, understanding another point of view, expressing my thoughts out loud and continuing working together. My biggest take away from this experience is a powerful message: when I am searching for the truth, I should continue gathering input and involving people into co-creation if our everyday life. And practise it every time when the opportunity arises, to retrain my brain into a new setup.
I know I am far away from being perfect in this area. Still, I am so proud of being able to recognize an amazing opportunity to engage in searching for the truth instead of trying to remain right. I did learn a lot and extended my network within my company :)