Affirmation And Information

Tomorrow is Election Day here in the US. That’s usually followed in most places by “get out and vote” but not here. Instead, I’m hoping that all of us who are eligible will get informed and then vote. The problem is that many people believe they’re doing just that but aren’t. It’s a problem common to business as well. 

I am pretty sure you’ve shared the experience I’m about to describe although I wonder if you’ve thought about it in business. A friend shares something on social media which you discover is just not true. I had that happen twice last week. I saw something and rather than immediately dismissing it because it didn’t jibe with my world view, I did a little hunting to see it what he posted was factual. It wasn’t and I let him know. Did I expect him to take it down? Hoped, maybe, but not expected. Instead, many of his contacts with a similar world view ignored the facts and continued to comment as if what he posted was gospel.

That’s the issue, both in our business lives and our personal lives. Most of us no longer seek information but instead want affirmation. We want something to tell us we’re right and not something that tells us the truth. That is how businesses go off the rails. The boss has a point of view based on misinformation and his minions spend time finding affirmation, not information. I think it’s also how a country gets off the rails too.

Here comes the cranky old man part. As the internet evolved I was happy because it eliminates gatekeepers of many sorts, including those that restrict the flow of information. Given the absolute deluge of crap, lies, misinformation, and worse that’s out there, I yearn for some responsible gatekeeping. We all need to be better informed as we make important decisions. Seeking what’s true and not just what we want to be true makes a huge difference in our decision-making. Maybe today’s a good day to pledge to do that because there are important decisions to be made, both tomorrow and beyond and in the voting booth as well as in the office. You with me?

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Filed under Reality checks, What's Going On

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