How many times a week do you get second or third-hand information? By this I mean information that comes to you through someone other than the source or person that created that information. I tried to count up how many times I received information this way this week, and it was too many times to count.
For example, most news we get is through the lens of the writer, the reporter, or the producer. When we hear from someone else about another person’s mistake or misbehavior, it isn’t from the original source or we didn’t see it first hand. Some people would say it is just gossip. Even when we look at what may appear to be black and white facts of data, sometimes it isn’t even what it seems. The data has often been filtered to through the lens of someone who wants to paint a picture or make a point with it.
I’ve notice that good leaders always have this things-aren’t-really-what-they-seem radar up and they are prone to check their facts before make decisions based on the information. They realize not everything can be viewed just at the surface.
Based on observation of these types of leaders, here is some advice for making sure you have your facts straight before making a decision or passing judgment:
Be aware that things aren’t always what they seem. It all goes back to (self) awareness.
Go to the source. If you hear that someone has a problem with such and such, then ask that person- in person. Not in email.
Get both sides of the story. If person A says this and person B says that get person A and B together and figure this out.
When has your things-aren’t-always-what-they-seem radar helped you make a better decision?