I've been thinking about some of the hard phrases we sometimes need to say in our lives: I'm sorry! I messed up! I was wrong! When I was a kid (I'm about to age myself significantly!), there was a show on TV called Happy Days. It had this character named The Fonz, or Fonzie. He was the super cool character on the show and one of his traits was he couldn't ever say, "I was wrong!" He was kind of famous for trying to say it, but always choked on the word wrong. "I was wwwwrrrrrrr...!" I actually think that is exactly the opposite reaction we need to have about being wrong. Let's face it, everyone is wrong at some point (some more than others!), and if we are willing to admit it, we can embrace a couple of important lessons. Admitting we are wrong can help strengthen our relationships. If we have a situation where we have clearly messed up with someone else, and we aren't willing to admit it, we are ultimately eroding trust in that relationship, especially since they most likely know we were wrong! But if we are willing to own our mistakes and acknowledge to others that we are wrong, and even apologize when it's necessary, we are actually increasing our bonds of trust with the other person. Owning up to it can help others know we are people of integrity and that we can be trusted. Admitting we are wrong can help us learn and grow. One of the significant lessons I try and help leaders understand is how important it can be to cultivate a culture where failure is welcomed. Most of the greatest life lessons I have ever learned came from moments when I was wrong or failed at something. But if we are unwilling to admit we are wrong or have messed up, then there isn't anything to actually learn from it! Acting as if everything is always fine is a recipe for disaster, but admitting we are wrong can help us be curious and learn from our mistakes. Which one of these lessons resonates with you the most today? Are there relationships in your life that are being eroded because you aren't willing to admit you are wrong or that you need to apologize if necessary? How could those relationships be strengthened with a simple acknowledgement of not being right? Are there places you are not being truthful with yourself, and as a result, you are missing out on some incredible learning opportunities? If you're a leader, in what ways are you helping to create a culture where failure is welcomed and not hidden or ignored? Maybe a good place to start is just to say it with me, "I was wwrrrrong!" Be Well, Stephen
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