Tag Archives: facts

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finding truth

Finding Truth And Pink Volkswagon Beetles

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How much time or effort do you spend finding truth? Is truth really about facts or is it more about belief?

In religion, many people insist that they are stating facts, yet they actually may be stating beliefs.

Scientific research is sometimes based on belief. You might examine it statistically. Is it a null hypothesis? Could it be true?

We often struggle for truth or facts. Many turn to the internet for answers.

Is Wikipedia a valid source? What about YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter? Who decides?

In a general sense, each individual decides. Does belief make it real?

Finding Truth

There is an old story that suggests you find what you look for.

You might have heard the story connected to pink Volkswagon Beetles. Very low production numbers suggest that not many people have seen a pink Volkswagon Beetle but yet if you start watching for one, it may appear.

In the workplace, we might turn to data. Where does the data come from?

If we see it with our own eyes, if we experience it, is it real, valid, and true?

Daniel Simons, and Christopher Chabris, tested our seeing is believing in 1999 with the students passing the basketball test. If you have experienced this test on selective attention, you will realize that seeing may be believing although it may not be the truth.

What is the truth?

The truth may very well be what you believe.

For your job, your career, or your business endeavor, the first and perhaps most important step is believing.

Belief often creates truth.

Or so it seems.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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conversation clarity

Conversation Clarity Might Be About Facts

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Have you ever wondered about conversation clarity? What makes your conversations clearer with more appropriate meaning?

When someone suggests that they have the best cell phone, they had dinner at the best restaurant, or the best place to vacation is at the beach, are they facts?

It is true for technology recommendations as well as just about anything you do. People often tend to talk about their opinions while they are being very compelling and stating them as though they are facts.

When you are trying to help someone consider options or find the best restaurant are your opinions useful?

Conversation Clarity

Certainly, to some degree opinions carry some value. When many people have the same opinion, it may start to illustrate a trend that this is getting close to the facts.

Yet, every day someone will jump on board with an idea just because it is popular. Untested or unproven they often don’t want to be wrong so they’ll follow the popularity trail.

This can become a problem in the workplace.

John is always late for the meeting.

Samantha never gets here on time.

Robert always takes Jennifer’s side on important decisions.

Always and never? Are these facts or just opinionated speech?

There is a sharp contrast between, the pizza shop around the corner has the best pizza, and, Thomas never arrives on time.

In some cases, people are trying to be helpful. They are attempting to provide useful information. In other cases, the information may be manipulative, deceptive, and defamatory.

Providing more clarity in conversations may be mostly about removing opinions.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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research indicates

Research Indicates Doesn’t Mean It’s Factual

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For years there was a commercial with the line, “Four out of five dentists surveyed…” Surveyed for what, their opinion? Yes, of course. When someone suggests, “research indicates” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is factual.

In society many people are driven by the information they receive. That information is not always factual, it may be more of a collection of opinions.

The opinions are sometimes so compelling or so dramatic that people process it as it must be true. If more than one person, for example, four out of five, repeat the information it appears to provide authenticity.

The iPhone is the best cellular telephone.

Chevrolet makes the best half-ton pickup truck.

The bar on the corner of 4th and Main has the best chicken wings.

If you hear it once it may attract your attention. Repeated by several people, or simply repeated over and over again it may become believable, even by those who once had some doubt.

Research Indicates

In your workplace you have a culture. That culture is made up of the people that are part of that organization.

The people may agree with the flow, or they may disagree with the flow. Whether they agree or disagree is not as important as recognizing the agreement or disagreement is all part of that culture.

It is the same in your community, in your city of birth, or in a State several hundred miles away. Belief drives culture. In larger formats, such as a collection of States or a geographic region, it may be labeled as, society.

Successfully navigating your workplace is typically not just a main stream flow. It is more about surfing the ebbs and flows, thinking for yourself, and being cautious of facts versus opinions.

“Research indicates” is often more of an opinion than it is a fact. Popular opinion may be a better descriptor.

There will always be something trending.

It doesn’t mean you are required to follow. It may mean that to be successful you are required to navigate.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace windows

Workplace Windows and What You See

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How does the World appear to you? What about your job, how does that appear? We all see our working environment through workplace windows.

For nearly everything in life what you experience as an individual is somewhat different when compared with another individual. Life experiences have a way of making it different for everyone. Values and beliefs play a role, whether they are confirmed or denied.

It’s true for families. One family has a set of holiday or seasonal traditions and another family has something different.

It’s true for how people recharge. Some people enjoy a little exercise such as a hike in the mountains, others enjoy a sandy beach with lots of sunshine. Some want to be engaged with a lot of people and others want to be more alone or excluded.

What you eat, what you do, and how you spend your time and energy is not necessarily an identical experience for others.

What do you see through your workplace windows?

Workplace Windows

Some people enter their daily work experience with high energy, motivation, and are eager to get started. Another person, working in the exact same place and conditions has a different experience.

When you consider the organizational mission, the goals, and the purpose of your work does it excite you? Can you get behind the effort, will you roll up your sleeves and dig in? Do you believe in the leaders? Are you part of the system, or a wrench in the spokes?

What about your customers? Do you see things the same as they do? Do your products or services meet or exceed their expectations?

It is all conditioned by what you see.

Being able to step back and imagine what the other person may be seeing is the first step to understanding their actions or behaviors.

Not everyone sees the exact same thing.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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data facts

Data Facts Seem Compelling, Are They Valid?

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Decision makers and analyzers often seek the facts. When presented with more information confidence seems to rise. Data facts matter but are they really painting the true picture?

People anchor to data. Often wrongfully so. Historical data is not the same as benchmark data. Data may appear factual but only based on what is presented.

Often, it is not the complete picture.

In the workplace, some employees are loud about their accomplishments. It is a way of tooting their own horn. It’s not all bad and it is sometimes required but seldom does anyone ask, “What’s missing?”

What’s missing may be work performed by others who are not shouting. Work that is easily overlooked internally but greatly appreciated by the external customer.

If it is not spoken and isn’t sought out, does it matter? Of course, it matters but it is often overlooked.

Data Facts

What is reported in the news isn’t everything that has happened. It is only what is being reported.

Awareness of the data source and the depth is seldom considered. The expectation is trust.

Many business decisions are made only by the data that is presented. The quest for differing opinions, deeper investigation, or alternative views are seldom considered desirable. Largely, they are rejected, silenced, or ridiculed.

Data that doesn’t fit the narrative is unwelcomed.

When data aligns with the prescribed suggestions it is considered good enough. It passes the test or satisfies the wishful expectations and the information stops.

Meanwhile valid data is often being omitted or overlooked.

Compelling doesn’t always mean accurate, and it seldom means that the entire picture is on display.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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factual conversations

Factual Conversations, Opinions, and Leadership

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Do you have factual conversations? What about in the staff meeting, are facts being presented or more of just opinions?

Effective communication is a highly sought-after skill. One great thing about communication is that even just one person on the team learning to be more effective can help team performance.

Have you considered how you verbally communicate? What about your written word in things like email or text messaging?

Workplace Conversation

Imagine at the start of the staff meeting someone is late. Let’s assume that someone is named Susan.

Suddenly a meeting member blurts out, “Let’s just get started, Susan is always late.”

Always?

Nobody wonders whether is Susan is always late, or just late once in a while. Is always a fact or an opinion?

Multiply this concept to the daily narrative floating around your workplace. How much of the communication is factual?

There is an argument to factual communication. The argument is that it is often not as compelling.

Buy our new product, we recently sold 3 to the first customer.

As compared to:

Buy our new product, it’s selling fast.

Opinions are often disguised as facts when they are delivered in a compelling and impact-oriented manner. In addition, when you prey on the recipient’s emotions it often calls people to action.

Fear is a big seller.

Start using this product today. Act now before we’re sold out.

The fear of course, is that if you don’t buy now, there won’t be any left to purchase.

Factual Conversations

Leading in your workplace environment is always about communication. You are often selling. Whether it is selling your ideas, creating buy-in for a change effort, or selling motivation and inspiration.

One of the biggest underlying challenges of leadership is navigating balance. With everything there is a magical balance.

Are you having factual conversations? What is providing the most impact?

The most impact often exists somewhere in the middle. The exact facts matter and often spark action when communicated in a compelling manner.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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compelling belief

Compelling Belief Is Not Necessarily a Fact

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Have you been lured in by someone stating their compelling belief? Stated with confidence and vigor, it is often easy to believe.

People have strong opinions about political issues, yet they often can’t cite the framework of their opinions.

People have strong opinions about medical concerns. The 2020 pandemic has been the playing field for so-called experts.

Still other people have strong opinions about community activities, the size and style of your home, or even what you can do with your land.

When someone disagrees, goes in a different direction, or shrugs and walks away it is not necessarily a sign of intelligence. It may be a sign of different values or beliefs.

This is exactly why the narrative matters so much.

Compelling Belief

Doing something right now may not mean it is the wrong thing. It may just be the wrong thing at this time.

Expanding the marketing plan that has fuzzy results only makes sense when you believe.

Stating that the product doesn’t feel right is a belief. It may be factual to someone and understanding the feeling will get you closer to the facts.

Everyone believes something.

It may not be a shared belief because they haven’t heard the story behind it.

Is your story compelling?

The Real Story

If the story behind it is only based on opinions, it doesn’t make the narrative any more valuable.

Stating that you want someone to believe what you believe because it is a fact, may only be a matter of opinion.

It is only compelling when it resonates with the audience.

Uncompelled people may have different facts.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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expert opinions

Expert Opinions Are Still Opinions

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Some people should be advising no people. As the saying goes, everyone has an opinion. Expert opinions matter, yet are they opinions or something rooted in facts?

One theory about expert status is that it is granted to anyone who has spent 10,000 hours practicing their craft. Lots of hours can lead to lots of experience. That experience may be considered good or bad.

All experiences can be learning moments. Good experiences may guide the way for what worked. Bad experiences may guide the way for what didn’t or identify things to avoid.

Compelling Information

Opinions on anything can be compelling. It often depends on the delivery, confidence, and if the story is compelling. Is the story believable?

Opinions are readily available on social media channels. They are often delivered with the flair that they contain expert advice.

Saying that the stock market will drop is somewhat of a guarantee. The question may be when or how much?

Suggesting that taking vitamin supplements will improve your health is hard to measure. Like politics, there is a good chance that at least fifty percent will agree.

Having the answers to everything may not be a sign of intelligence but more of a sign of having a strong opinion.

Expert Opinions

In marketing, loud sells.

In this statement, loud is a metaphor for density or impact. A thirty second ad on television in a local market has some reach. A three-hour news slot that is airing internationally has much more reach.

It’s louder.

It doesn’t necessarily condition a difference between fact and opinion. Experts may be self-proclaimed in either case. They may even have their 10,000 hours under their belt.

What it does mean is that with more reach, you’ll find more people who agree. More people who agree or even those who disagree may decide to share the information.

Every day there is additional value to understanding the difference between fact and opinion. It’s true regardless of how loud the sound is, or whether it is coming from and expert or amateur.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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observable Behaviors

Observable Behaviors Are a Fact

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When you look around your workplace you may discover something new, or something different. Are observable behaviors factual?

The task force meets weekly to monitor progress. They are checking data collected against predetermined metrics and measurements.

These are the facts.

Yet, are they really? Is the data a real representation of the truth? Is the data valid and reliable?

Embellished Stories

Let’s assume for the same task force meeting, that Tom arrives late. He misses the beginning.

Before he arrives someone asks, “Where is Tom?”

Someone else replies, “Let’s just get started. Tom is always running late.”

Always?

Every day we are confronted with the challenge of scrutinizing the data set. We ultimately have to decide if the data is valid and reliable.

Stories repeated across time often become embellished. It is the big fish story. The walking to and from school, uphill, in a snow storm, both ways.

Was the fish really that big? Was that really what walking to school was like? Is Tom really late for every meeting?

False-perceptions and self-deception is often commonplace, especially as confidence and experience grows. What we observe, we know to be truth. Our experience justifies our assumptions.

Some may describe this as confirmation bias.

Often the biggest challenge for experienced leaders is to let go of their ego. This may be as much about internal awareness, as it is about a flashy, boastful narcissist.

Observable Behaviors

Are you asking more questions? Either through internal self-talk or through open discussion?

Our observable behaviors are always conditioned by our thoughts and our filters. They may also be conditioned by what we are looking for.

When we are watching for who arrives late in order to keep the score, we may miss the opening comments of the meeting. Not because we are not physically present but because we are emotionally absent.

Be careful of what you believe to be fact. It may be more subjective than you realize.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace opinions

Workplace Opinions Determine Fit

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Opinions, we all have them, right? Do your workplace opinions fit, or are they out of place?

For clarity, there is a difference between opinion and fact.

That’s a Fact

Suggesting that the pizza shop on the west side of town has the best pizza is an opinion. Unless, of course, the statement is, “Antonio’s Pizza won the best pizza in Clifton contest for the third year in a row.”

When we suggest that getting to work early is better than staying late, it is an opinion. The same is true for taking breaks, having background music in the office, and whether or not to have Hawaiian shirt Friday’s.

Opinions help form the culture. They help form what is symbolic about the organization, what stands out, and how outsiders remember or connect.

When you want to join the Facebook group, or when you choose to join an organized club or association, there is an expectation of conduct and fit.

Individual attitudes and perceptions help shape the image. They’re often based on opinions, not facts.

Workplace Opinions

There is more than a statement in, “This is the template for all corporate slide decks.” It is true for how visitors are treated, response times for customers and vendors, and how the pecking order of the parking lot works.

Organizations often promote the idea of change. Yet, largely, their opinions and beliefs about whether the clock pendulum ticks left before right, or right before left, is deeply rooted in the culture.

Opinions often determine fit. Opinions also tend to steer the direction of culture.

The next time you give a presentation to the C-Suite, request a lunch appointment with the CEO, or decide to wear flip-flops on Friday, you may want to check the culture for fit.

If it is important that you fit, it is best to develop an understanding of the cultural opinions first.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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