Is it better to be right or move forward towards an aligned purpose?
As people we are defensive and have a desire to be right. In bad situations, people aren’t looking to resolve issues, we’re looking to be right.
Examples are: the small customer who believes the big brand is out to get them and chews out customer service, or the driver who blame-shifts their mistake onto another driver and wails on the horn. Or the spouse who feels forgotten and picks a fight.
In these cases the person yelling isn’t looking for real change, instead they want to feel right and be justified in their approach.
But when the other party just wants to be right and prove us wrong, it’s a sign of brokenness in the relationship. Discovering the reasons why there’s conflict is the key to moving out of right and wrong and into alignment.
If the big brand had predetermined what really matters to the small customer…
If the driver had a deeper reason why other than, “I don’t want to be inconvenienced.”…
If the spouse was vulnerable…
Alignment can happen and being right is no longer the priority.
In a business setting when a customer believes a mistake was made, how should a business respond?
Is the customer really always right?
One option that definitely doesn’t work is justifying and defending. Justifying is a sign of a broken relationship.
Two parties trying to be right doesn’t make it right. But two parties that are aligned on real business issues, needs and goals will move forward and look past the mistake.
If it’s an aligned customer, simply resolve the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
If it’s an unaligned customer, it may be grounds for separation or starting over in the relationship.
The mistake may help facilitate the end of a toxic relationship or the birth of a new one.