Right vs Wrong vs Different

October 24, 2009

I was chatting with a good mate of mine the other day.  Some sort of harmless argument came up.  Now this mate is the kind of person that doesn’t really budge.

Me – “You don’t really like hearing different do you?”

Mr X – “Not at all.  I can totally admit when I’m wrong.”

Me – “But it’s not always right or wrong.  Sometimes there is different.”

So I hope you get my point.  In a lot of situations, people may be so focused on holding onto their argument/belief/train of though etc that they’ll only let go if they hear/see/find evidence to the contrary.  But is it possible for two or more ways of doing things to coexist?  Is there more than one way to skin a cat? (Putting aside the point why you would actually want to do this.)

Generally, (because there are always exceptions) ‘Yes’.

So why is this important for a young professional?

  • Opportunities to challenge the current situtation or to develop your own method.
  • When learning, be open to new methods.
  • When teaching, be open to new methods.

Recognise that in some circumstances, there is room, there is flexibility and there can be diversity.  Use it to your advantage.


2 Responses to “Right vs Wrong vs Different”

  1. Lee said

    That’s a good point that you raise. MOST of the time there really is “more than one way to skin a cat”, But I think you’ll find that the people who “won’t budge” act this way because they have already convinced themselves that their solution or answer works therefore it must be right (lateral thinking doesn’t come into play)Once shown an alternative I their train of thought might change. Can you tell I’m one of these people 😛

    Good article though.

  2. Andrew said


    I think you’ve exposed one of the largest barriers to cognitive complexity and the ability to understand complicated problems: black-and-white thinking.

    Many times the solutions to our problems don’t reside within one category.

    This, I think, is why I argued that blogging and journalism shouldn’t be made mutually exclusive categories. I think that we have to acknowledge some overlap, the gray area, the “different” area, in order to understand how blogging and journalism are evolving.

    Nice work. And great advice, “Recognise that in some circumstances, there is room, there is flexibility and there can be diversity. Use it to your advantage.”


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