Apologizing does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego. —Unknown
I chewed on this quote for a long time when I first read it. It’s good stuff, but as sung by The Fray, “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same” (from All at Once). So I still struggle to put that into practice, to wait a beat before I speak and let my head lead my mouth rather than vice versa.
The other day I realized that perhaps “apologizing” is too narrow a term. Listening on a conference call, the posturing was so thick, it almost took material form. I could practically see it. This quote popped into my head, and I thought of it in terms of correcting, redressing, proving you know something, and reminding someone else of what [you think] he should know. I’m sure there are dozens more.
Then I thought about the word “relationship.” People on that call clearly weren’t concerned about relationships, but at least they should have been concerned about getting things done. Stepping on people’s proverbial toes (or egos) should always fall behind accomplishing the goal. Think of how much good we could do (or pick your own result: how much money we could make, how many goods we could produce, how much we could improve quality, how many people we could help, how many diseases we could cure) if we could all just get over ourselves.
No matter how I rewrite that quote, it all boils down to this: putting aside my ego.
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.
I’m going to be thinking of this quote on my conference call this afternoon … such sage advice! Love it!
We do get in our own way – and prevent so many things from getting done…
Amen, sister! 🙂
Excellent, thought-provoking post. Since I believe, generally speaking, that people are motivated by personal self interest (including me), it’s key to my understanding of the posturing and ego-absorbed actions of myself and others. We each have a personal agenda: to appear smarter; more knowledgeable; more powerful; more…fill in the blank. To the extent that I can identify those tendencies in myself and others helps me see beyond those superficial things and ideally contribute at a greater level that I might otherwise. Easier said than done I might add.
You are so right, Paul; it IS easier said than done. That’s why I framed that last part in first person: putting aside my ego. It starts with me.
Tammy I loved your text! I think in this way too and I try everyday make at least one person smile, I praise someone, and recognize my mistakes and do apologies. I think this can be a good way of life. Success with your blog!
Thank you for the kind words–to me and to those around you. What a great example!