Changing The Conversation I: Facts

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“You have your way.  I have my way.  As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

–     Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844-1900)

You may be thinking to yourself, “Gee, self, that’s an odd quote from a guy who’s company slogan is “The right thing.  The right way.  At the right time!”  The key word here is “only.”  There’s never only one right way, the key is to find one that works.  That requires changing the conversation.

Late yesterday, I had the honor of addressing the 100+ attendees of the Fall Business Kick-Off session here in suburban Milwaukee.  Our topic was “Changing the Conversation; Why Perspective Matters More Than Facts.”

Perspective matters more if only because “facts” are more difficult to come by than ever before.  This is not your Joe Friday, “just the facts, ma’am,” era.  This is an era where perspective matters more.  Just as there are no true “news” media, there are precious few irrefutable facts for them to report.  There are more data and the data is more readily available to more people, in and out of context (which is a synonym for “perspective”).

Need examples?

Both candidates used “facts” to support their positions in the recently completed election.  Both politicians countered the “facts” their opponent used with contradictory “facts” of their own.  Under oath, they could cite reliable sources to validate their “facts.”

During the banking technology phase of my career, the four leading vendors all claimed to have “over 3,500 banks using their system.”  All four could provide a list of banks, “factually” who used their technology.  The problem with the facts, in this case, was according to the leading providers to the industry, there were 14,000 banks in an 11,000-bank-world.

If everyone in a deal cites “facts” claiming to have the “best _______ in the market,” then it’s either 100% commoditized or there are some discrepancies with the “facts.”

Or, perhaps it’s just a matter of perspective.

Knowing the other person’s perspective is more important than ever before.  It’s also easier than ever before.  (More on that tomorrow…)  And, empathetically considering the perspectives the other party brings to the conversation is more welcome than ever before, simply because so few business people do it.

Another way we can make a difference…

 

 

 


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