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Why It's Good To Be Wrong Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 7:06 AM
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We learn from our mistakes; some of the dumbest people I know have never been wrong.
Post #1328244
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 7:38 AM
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Ewald Cress (7/11/2012)
Excellent post, and one that really struck a chord with me.

I, too, take delight in being wrong, for pretty much the reasons that Hakim outlined. But there is another side to it. If you're known to admit when you've been wrong, and willing to state "This is my current opinion, as opposed to a firm belief I won't budge from," people may well end up valuing your input more. Even in brute survival terms, that's a win.


Ewald, I am sitting here laughing because I said the same thing "really struck a chord with me....." , when I forwarded this editorial to one of my team members. I am a Type A personality and I will readily admit that I don't like being wrong, both personally and professionally, however Hakim makes very valid points and quite honestly made me look at how I dealt with being wrong.


Recently before I read this article, I used this principle but applied it to making mistakes. It is okay to make mistakes, because it creates an opportunity to learn something you might not know or possibly a different facet of something you already did.

Hakim, thanks for the editorial; good read.
Post #1328275
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 8:06 AM
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Terriffic point! I can hardly imagine how much a team could learn if everyone on it had that same idea.
Post #1328304
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 8:11 AM
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I see that there is no harm in being wrong. However, just becuase someone say I am wrong doesn't mean I will accept it at face value. I will say let me check on that and confirm what they say is correct or not. I will willing accept it if they are or if it is questionable as query performance can sometimes be in SQL Server I will test it several ways and conceed if it is proven. I have no trouble being wrong and don't mind being called on it in an open form.

The same goes with arguements with the wife, she get's very mad with me becuase I won't just accept she is right if I feel she is incorrect or proof needs to be given. Those moments are the worst, she goes on how I am arguementative and always have to be right and I have to rein her in by reminding her arguements require more thsan one person, and two no one should ever just conceed on face value unless they know the other person is right.



Post #1328308
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 8:12 AM
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david.wright-948385 (7/11/2012)
But there is another side to this coin: when someone else is wrong, we need to treat that in a helpful light too. It's so much easier to accept a lesson learned if it is learned in a helpful atmosphere: without risk of criticism, disdain or even ridicule. In this way we can encourage others to learn from their mistakes and help our situation become one where everyone can accept these 'learning opportunities" (our own, or others') rather than deny them.


So very true. I don't learn very well when someone is screaming at me or humiliating me. So, how could I expect someone else to learn that way?
Post #1328309
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 9:26 AM
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Hence, crazy as it sounds, I look forward to being proven wrong.


Not sure I would agree with the wording...

When that happens, I accept it and embrace it, and I am better off for it. If you show me I am wrong, I will thank you for it.


I have felt this way for a long time. Most people get upset when you discuss things like this. However we all are wrong quite frequently.

One analogy I use is about opinions. People frequently acuse others of being opinionated. Well of course people are opinionated! We ALL ARE!!! We also always believe our opinions are correct.

Once we know that our opinions are incorrect, we change them!

The thing is that humans seem reluctant to accept factual evidence easily. It is probably due to things like how our media outright lies about things to sway public opinion - which causes people to fall into two groups. The first is the majority of people who believe everything they hear from their favorite source, regardless of how ridiculous it is (see recent jobs reports that the liberal media claims is evidence our economy is sound as just one example). The second is those people who hear things, but actually try to determine for themselves whether there is truth behind it. I submit most of the people in this group fall into the second group.

Dave


Dave
Post #1328375
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 9:58 AM
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And here I thought I was the only one who didn't mind being wrong about something!

Guess I was wrong about that.



Here there be dragons...,

Steph Brown
Post #1328413
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 1:05 PM
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I'm never wrong. I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.

I've heard this put many ways, but this editorial was one of the best. My degree is in computer SCIENCE. If we are truly scientists, then we should act like that. We should not act like the engineers at Morton-Thiokol and "take off off our engineer hats and put on our marketing hats" and make a decision that results in a Space Shuttle blowing up. We should act like the older scientist who, when his Noble prize winning idea is proven to be wrong, he applauds it. "Wrong" is really the wrong word. It should be "out of date" or "new evidence has shown" or "here is an alternative worth considering". I'm not trying to sugar coat, I'm saying we are wrong when we don't have the right data or just missed something, like I said, "mistaken".
Post #1328516
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 2:17 PM
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Another reason to accept being proven wrong is that it shows someone else is aware enough to see/understand your mistake. As long as they've "got your back" you can proceed more confidently than if you must treat every move as life threatening ( Hakim's "... you died" )

Continuing the evolution metaphor, if you can't treat your current coworkers as reliable members of your tribe you should probably consider some new coworkers.
Post #1328570
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 2:18 PM
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This is like writing...you should never edit your own writing. We all 'know' what we intended to do or write so we can't see our mistakes. Whenever I write a large script, I always have someone review it for me. I'd rather I was found to be wrong before something bad happens than finding out later (missing WHERE clause on a Delete or Update anyone????).

-SQLBill



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