Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm Right, You're Wrong

I recently witnessed a workshop presenter who insisted that she was right about everything because she was the “expert.” If someone objected to her perspective, or presented a variation, she insisted on arguing to make herself appear right and the other person look wrong. Oh how I cringed. Talk about a control freak. Shutting down opposing opinions is a sure-fire way of shutting down audience participation. 

Never make your audience wrong (unless, of course, someone is being terribly offensive to you or others). Even if someone’s idea seems a bit bizarre, acknowledge them by saying something like, “That’s an interesting perspective, one I have not considered.” (Be authentic!) And then move on. 

There are always other perspectives. Thank others for their distinctive points of view. No matter how many times I facilitate a particular workshop or deliver a familiar presentation, I continually learn varying perspectives from members of the audience.