How do we know we were/are wrong? New information. It could be new facts, new stories, new reactions, new knowledge. Or quite simply, it could be we tried our idea, decision or action and it did not achieve the result we hoped for.
Sometimes, however, it is not new information that makes us realise that we were/are wrong, but rather we accept information. We disregard information all the time. Our brains are wired to seek information that confirm our ideas, worldviews, beliefs and disregard the rest. Therefore, sometimes we realise we are wrong because we accept rather than disregard information.
It is easy to use hindsight to criticise ourselves or others for the decisions that they made in a particular moment in time. It is much much harder to put yourself in that moment in time and ‘in’ the person or your former self with all the emotions, worldviews, and experiences you had. That is empathy. And it is incredible hard.
So you or someone else was wrong. But perhaps bluntly calling out or saying ‘I was wrong’ is too hard. Perhaps instead you can say, ‘Due to this new piece of information’ or ‘I now understand this’ and ‘we will change direction’. Or sometimes, we just need to say, ‘I am sorry, I now see what you saw all along’.
Change makers are wrong all the time because they are explorers. Becoming good at acknowledging our errors in a healthy and productive way is a key skill.