Scenes in the media (or YouTube grabs, for that matter) that depict violence between groups are rarely to be trusted as the whole story. They conspicuously omit context and perspective. Hence, we receive a report about someone having been aggressive, but see no evidence of that opposing group being aggressive. Or, we see simply someone yelling back or lashing out at the one filming, but we see no footage preceding the incident demonstrating how the alleged recipient may have been acting toward the alleged perpetrator beforehand. Determining liability in these situations is one of the reasons why we have whole court systems that weigh and ponder the multiple factors in any incident. Yet, whole populations are all too willing to accept a snippet of curated video evidence, accept the position of those reporting/providing that snippet, and then condemn the alleged perpetrator.
We need to be careful about accepting these positions as being the legitimate or whole truth regarding a matter. A little investigation in these circumstances goes a long way.
Similarly, we need to be careful about accepting one-sided opinions and perspectives about our workplace, leaders, employees, peers, strategy, operations, finances, you name it. Investigate. Ask differing sides. Make direct observations and ask direct questions.
I’ve had employees whom I learned I could trust in situations, because they demonstrated that reliability over time. But I still had to be wary about merely accepting their points of view, because ours all get skewed. I was gratified when just today I had an external client for a business I was working with tell me that he was impressed with one of the people I had working for me. That provided more independent verification that the employee was being honest and acting with integrity when representing the company and working with clients, and in his communications with me. And being able to trust your people means you can “get down to business” all that faster and more reliably.
Don’t accept that the first story you hear is the most accurate version. Use that stuff between your ears, and everything else surrounding and attached to them, to find out the truth of the matter.
© 2017 Peter J. McLean www.petermclean.co