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Why It's Good To Be Wrong


Why It's Good To Be Wrong

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hakim.ali
hakim.ali
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Why It's Good To Be Wrong

Hakim Ali
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Dogsbody1
Dogsbody1
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I agree, the problem is sometimes even though I know I'm wrong I persist in being 'right', why I'm not sure. Sometimes you get the reverse, somebody says your wrong and you readily admit it only to find you were right later after the event.
Ola L Martins-329921
Ola L Martins-329921
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This is a fundamental in my own life - discovered by struck of luck in my youth.
In school, all standing in a group around a subject, I made a remark regarding this or that.
The teacher looked amused and corrected me - the inevitable muted giggle spread -
and to resurrect myself I claimed:
"I prefer being wrong, thus I have learned two things: one; that what I thought was right is wrong - and two: what is actually correct."
majorbloodnock
majorbloodnock
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The trouble is that all too many people take a stance without making sure of their ground. If you say "this is so" when what you mean is "I think this is so", you've volunteered for the ridicule of being wrong.

It's important to state things categorically when you're certain, and just as important to highlight when you're uncertain. That way, people know where they stand. No-one minds you being wrong with best guess, but they do mind being strung along. If they know they can trust you to say when you're sure and when you're not, they'll respect your assurances all the more. And if, as Hakim said in his article, you're happy to publicly admit when you're wrong, they'll respect you still more, since they can trust your assurances are based on considered opinion rather than ego.

Thought-provoking editorial; thank you.

Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
call.copse
call.copse
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I definintely take it as a sign of strength or character to hold your hand up when wrong. This is a sign of experience and confidence in your abilities.

Sadly it just happens so rarely to me ;-) (j/k)
david.wright-948385
david.wright-948385
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I absolutely agree with Steve's article. 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.

This of course with the caveat that mistakes need to be recognised, not congratulated. I said "helpful" twice above rather than "positive". In particular, a repeated mistake means the lesson wasn't learned, and an ignored mistake is another mistake waiting to happen.
Michael Lysons
Michael Lysons
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Sadly, I think part of the problem is another human trait; the ridicule of those who are wrong.

It's even evident on this site. Just look at a whole host of QotD posts, and you'll see stuff like "Good, back to basics question" and "I can't believe x% got this wrong" - all subtle little digs at those who may be wrong.

I think this is one reason why people worry about being wrong and therefore try to protect their "being right" beyond what is reasonable.

Still, I'm happy to be proved wrong :-)
hakim.ali
hakim.ali
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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.


Great point, thank you for raising that, I had not so much considered that particular perspective.

Hakim Ali
www.sqlzen.com
Ewald Cress
Ewald Cress
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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.
jay-h
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There are plenty of things I'd love to be proven wrong about....

...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
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