The effect speaks, the tongue needs not.George Herbert, “Proverbs” in The Complete English Works, 27.
We all want credit. It feels good–feels like winning. A particularly delicious type of credit presents itself when we turn out to be right when people were so sure we were wrong. When we find out–we want to point it out. We want to gloat in it, underline it, bask in the glory.
It may be delicious–but it’s junk food.
When you turn out to be right–strongly resist the temptation to point it out. Especially avoid pontificating–forcing everyone to re-hear all the reasons you were so sure you would be right, and how they should have listened, and how you hope they’ll listen next time, etc. The fact is–they already know those things, and are feeling humiliated. If you force them to wallow in it, they will resent you for it. But if you show clemency and grace, they’ll be relieved, even grateful that you chose not to gloat when they were expecting you to.
If someone admits to you that you were right, it’s best to say, “Thanks. No worries. The future is hard for all of us to predict. I’m often wrong. We’re in this together.” Or, one of my favorite sayings I heard from humble leaders I deeply respected down in Texas: “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.”