There are a lot of simple “life lessons” out there. When you hear one for the first time you may feel like you knew it already, you just never really thought about it.
I’ve decided to try to write short posts whenever I get some small revelation about something or other. Here is the first one.
I recently watched an interview with Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and something Larry said created one of those “Aha” moments. They were discussing wether he and Sergey had any fundamental disagreements during their time as founders of Google. Since they know each other well and have great respect for each other, Larry commented that
“(..)if we are disagreeing about something, it is probably because it isn’t obvious what to do”
When you think about it, that’s actually quite profound. During the heat of an argument, most people are quite convinced they are right. But if an argument is heated, someone else are equally convinced that you are wrong. So any time an argument escalates, it could be a useful red flag indicating that the answer probably isn’t that clear cut.
If someone you know and trust thinks you are wrong, chances are you’re at least not 100% right. So instead of butting heads (for too long), give them space to explain and elaborate their point of view. Acknowledge that whatever you’re discussing probably doesn’t have an obvious right or wrong answer, and you may need time and input from other people to come to a conclusion.