IS There More Than One Version Of the Truth?

Truth is a non-negotiable for strong leadership because it’s the foundation of consistency and trust.  Truth is, however, something that’s been making us all significantly uncomfortable for a good while now.  Truth is also a tricky thing because it’s often coloured by our own perspectives, beliefs and subconscious angles.

Whether it’s been deciphering the global agenda over the past year as a world-wide pandemic sweeps through; the rising voices of groups of people with common experience and cause or individuals recounting their stories, airing and discussing what people believe to be true has caused some interesting responses.

Whether you’re watching the news or social media, debating opinions with friends, discussing view points in a boardroom, or making far reaching decisions for yourself and your team – we are ill advised if we aren’t willing to give space to the fact that different people may see the same thing from different angles – each believing what they see to be true.

This week, I’d like to consider the statement “Because it is true for them”. 

Each of us has our own belief systems, and often they differ considerably from people that we’re surrounded by and even close to.  Our beliefs are constructed from our individual life experiences.  Because our beliefs are different doesn’t necessarily mean that one is wrong, and different people can hold different truths because of these differing beliefs systems

I like to believe in the fundamental goodness of people.  I like to believe that we’re all made to work together towards a greater good.  And yet I’m aware of how wonderfully unique we all are.  There has GOT to be value in that – it has to be designed that way for a reason.

So as you move into whatever this week holds, keep the statement “because it is true for them” in your head.  Allow yourself to accept what may be true for others, even if it challenges what is true for you.  If any two of us were the same, one of us wouldn’t be necessary.  Our differences can be challenging, and yet they’re beautiful.  Without being able to see a balanced picture by inviting others to share what they see with us and comparing our view points and needs, we cannot provide solutions that work for the greater good or for long term gain.

This week, when you come up against something that makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself how it argues with what you believe to be true for you.  If there’s someone else involved, ask them to explain what they see….and then compare notes to see whether there’s common ground that can work towards the common good.  This could be finding effective ways forward on a project that involves multiple parties; writing processes that involve more than one discipline or department; discussing view points on social media, or just taking in what someone else is experiencing right now, whether you agree with it or not.  You don’t know what you don’t know… until you ask.

When we accept someone else’s truth because it is true for them, without moving to change it or invalidate it, we respect their value and their experience and we open up an opportunity for the expansion of our own view point.  We find greater ground with fuller information from which to find ways to work together.

Who else’s truth can you accept this week, because it is true for them? The chances are good that what you see is only part of the truth. Your part. And that the full picture will broaden your view.

by Christen Killick

March 15th, 2021

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