In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.
We’ve often heard “there’s always two sides to every story.” Actually, there’s usually many sides to an issue. Though we know this is true, we often make premature judgments based on only one perspective. The challenge is to discipline ourselves to postpone judgment until we get all the facts and pursue other perspectives, not just the first one we hear.
- When someone complains about someone or something, don’t solidify your thoughts or make a judgment until you talk to others who are involved and gather more information. Seek opinions that are different from what you’ve first heard.
- When you hear a pundit make his case about a particular issue (political, current events) don’t make up your mind until you’ve researched what the other side thinks. [See my post titled It’s hard to see all aspects of a complicated situation.]
- Always get multiple opinions about important issues. For example, my car was running rough so I took it to a repair shop that analyzed the problem and wanted to charge me $1,200 for repairs. I got another opinion and had the problem fixed for $150.
- Be suspicious of all marketing and advertising; you’re only hearing one side and it’s usually biased. [See my post titled Don’t fall for the celebrity effect.]
This lesson is particularly important for leaders because every decision you make (personnel, strategy, vision) is multifaceted and you must consider all variables. Continually search for alternative perspectives and pursue alternative narratives.