Strongly Held Beliefs…

imagesWe all have them – some are called opinions – others are considered fact. When these pertain to people, in areas of professional performance or relationships, things get a little fuzzy.

I often hear a client say “My boss is crazy” or “This employee is unmanageable” or “My teammate is out to make me look bad.” My response to these statements and others like them is “What data do you have to support this belief?”

Then the conversation gets interesting. It often turns out the “data” is flimsy or non-existent. Sometimes there’s a “history” with the other person – other times it’s more of a fear than a fact. Perhaps it’s a case of “In the absence of data, we fill in the blanks with our own fears and anxieties.”

How do we decide what that data is? Use an objective outsider you respect who knows you and your “situation”. Have them ask questions – even difficult ones such as “What’s your piece of this?” See if you can substantiate your belief with data. Only then can it be considered more that just an opinion.

Michael Shapiro, Dynamic Management Solutions, Inc.


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