In the heartbreaking and heartwarming 1987 romantic comedy Broadcast News, Holly Hunter plays Jane Craig, a television producer with an unshakeable commitment to being right. In a heated exchange during layoffs, network executive Paul Moore remarks to her: “It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.” Jane replies, with utmost sincerity: “No. It’s awful.”
I must admit, I can’t relate to Jane. I love thinking that I know best, and I resent it when someone proves to me that I don’t. (I’m working on it — I swear!). And whether or not you’re like me, chances are, you’ve worked with or for someone who also loves to be right. The very idea of confronting them with a perspective or data that shows that they may be wrong can be enough to make you call in sick.