6 unseen benefits to admitting your wrong in business

Who likes admitting they're wrong? Just asking the question can get many feeling agitated, annoyed or uneasy. I could easily focus on marriage relationships and the stories of disagreement, false apologies and silent treatment (I've got plenty of those stories).

The reality is admitting we're wrong is a part of life because we wont always be right. It would be overly simplistic of me just to say the result of our non admission of wrong is because of pride as there are many layers to this topic. Some will say that our struggle to admission is a psychological or neurological issue of cognitive dissonance as written in the Huffington Post.

"The secret to our apology aversion may lie in a neurological bias toward taking a rosy view of ourselves. According to social psychologist Elliot Aronson, co-author of the book Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), our brains believe that we’re always doing “the right thing” despite our behavior showing the contrary." 

While I understand the study I believe contexts helps us to get clarity. Id' like to take a different step in sharing six things I've noticed that prevent people from admitting they're wrong and then six unseen benefits in the choice of admitting you're wrong that will change your personal results and relationships.

Six reasons you don't admit you're wrong.

  1. You feel its an attack on your ability 
  2. You feel you're better than the other person
  3. You don't like or get on with the other person
  4. Its too public for you to say it
  5. You feel your reputation may be on the line
  6. You believe admission is a sign of weakness

Many of these were my reasons especially 1 and 6 and having spoken with friends many could recognise themselves in this. Where are you in this? Once you recognise it you can do something about it and embrace the empowering reasons to move on.

Six empowering reasons to admit your wrong

  1. Amplifies Trust.  Nothing builds trust faster than admitting your mistakes and proving you don’t have an inflated view of yourself. The people I trust and respect most in my life are the ones who are the most open and honest about their shortcomings and failures.
  2. Demonstrates Courage and leadership. It doesn't matter where you sit in a business you have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership. One of the highest forms of a courageous leader is being open to another way. That can mean admitting your way wasn't right and taking a new direction.
  3. Saves relationships. In our relationships our ability to take responsibility and admit our wrongs will sometimes save a relationship on the edge. If one person is always right and the other wrong. Or if no one wants to give. You have to be the one to make it right. Not making it right could mean nothing goes right.
  4. Keeps you humble. Humbleness doesn't get enough credit as I believe it can have a profound impact on the person and their environment. Accepting the choice of being humble frees you from the weight of trying to be right. You can know that its ok to be wrong because the result is about whats right and not who's right.
  5. Sleep better at night. You can go to sleep with a clear conscience and zero feeling of guilt that you didn't act. Thats a darn good thing considering the other things in life we have to deal with.
  6. You train yourself to do whats right. The moments that are hardest in life often come with a decision that affects us and others. When you practice honesty through admission when you are wrong you train your mind and behavior to do whats right. 

How will you be changed by these ideas. I know it has changed mine.


If you resonate with what I write Send me a LinkedIn request and or get on my customer growth mailing list where I help key account managers, sales leaders and consultants understand how to deepen their client relationships and grow predictable sales from their high value customers. www.jermaineedwards.com  

Jermaine Edwards

Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.