Be wrong. But, be dang sure of it.

One of the kindest souls I ever met said something like this about me once.

“I’ll tell you. He might be wrong, but he is dang sure of it.”

He was an orthopedic surgeon. We traveled the state and spoke with physicians and health care professionals about how to speak with patients when things go wrong.

Imagine: The hard talk. Terrible news. Life and Death.

As I studied and learned from him. As our team listened. We learned together from the tragic events we reviewed to find the best past path forward for the people we helped.

We grew and became more passionate about convincing people to fight their fear: to be vulnerable.

I saw our work as a vocation. One that I cared about deeply.

One night, I made a few emphatic, very emotional and challenging statements to a group of experienced physicians. Statements that eliminated the gray area they were trying to make to give them permission to not do the right thing. To lie. And, their reaction to my statements was more than energetic.

How dare I question their integrity and call them on their untruths and omission?

The good doctor looked at our friend and colleague and he said: “I’ll tell you. He might be wrong, but he is dang sure of it.”

Because I cared. I had read. Researched. Analyzed. And I saw the process we developed work.

We had distilled our message and built our platform so that we could undo decades of poor, learned behavior that was pounded into our audience’s head.

What we talked about every day was, for the lack of a better word – serious.

Life. Death, Cancer. Errors. Mistakes. Millions of Dollars. Legal Proceedings. Anxiety. Trauma.

My favorite part – we weren’t wrong with our premise. It was proven out time and time again. Morals aren’t wrong. Doing the right thing, isn’t wrong. And, yes, I was sure of it.

What in the world does this have to do with marketing?

Well, in the face of these terrible things, the physician had to communicate with someone. It was vital they were understood. It was imperative they were seen as the human they were – in that moment.

If not, clear communication would not occur.

Relationships would be broken. Lives would be thrown into more disarray.

So, as I develop solutions to the problems those I attempt to help everyday. I make sure I have found as much data, listened to customers, learned from those that have been where I am before, and work to make sure I am certain what I am going to recommend will work.

If I am wrong. I am dang sure of it.

And, I smile every time I think of Dr. Ghiz and the vocation he chose to share with his peers there was a gentler, more human, right way to speak with other humans and face fear together.

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