Saturday, August 08, 2020

Always ask yourself, "Fact or Opinion?"

Social media is a powerful tool. It is also important nowadays to reach, build relationships and engage with your audience. This also can be used effectively in the business to create leads and finally sell your product and services. Everybody knows the power of using social media. However, it also has an evil in it. Your personal security and safety are at stake. You are at the risk of cyber bullying. Army of trolls is waiting for you. You don’t know the fact. Even mainstream media is also reporting one sided news. The other side of the news, which is inconvenient to them, is never broadcasted and the same is applicable for social media. People who look happy may not be happy in real life. In fact, social media (WhatsApp university is ahead in this) is creating half -witted citizens. Everybody is expert in everything and wants to comment on everything without understanding the logic. Sometimes they don’t even know what they are forwarding. 

The whole world is shallow, opinionated, polarised. You can see all types of emotions on social media. Sometimes, people demonstrate their natural behaviour on social media, though not real life. Reporters and journalists are not reporting facts but their opinion. Everybody has their own biases based on their friable value system.  

The issue is not about the social media itself; the issue is about knowing what fact is and what perception, opinion is. In day to day, professional and personal life, we create opinions and perceptions and comment without understanding facts. We become judgemental about people, situations and everything without giving much thought. We don’t discuss events but people. We tag people in different categories based on our opinions   

We tend to be driven by our emotions and opinions, which create a vicious cycle by fuelling each other. Our emotions strengthen our opinions, which in turn, intensify our emotions. This leads to impulsive acts and unhelpful longer-term consequences, which help to maintain the overall problem. This behaviour creates unnecessary tension in the society, relationship, personal & professional life.

Realising that many thoughts are opinion rather than fact makes it less likely that we’ll be distressed by them, and more able to make wise and calm decisions about the best action to take.

Hence whenever you read something or encounter some situation, ask a simple question, Facts or Opinion?

Facts are evidence based which supports truth. Facts are indisputable. They are driven by rational thought process.

However, Opinions and perceptions are based on our belief and personal views. Opinions can be argued easily. They are driven by emotions and personal feelings.

When you realise that these are opinions and perceptions, we can dive deep to understand it more.

During the feedback session, when the manager gives the feedback about some behaviour ask him the situation where he has observed that behaviour. If you are the manager, give the example of a situation where an employee demonstrated such behaviour. That’s the fact. Without giving any logic and context, it is just an opinion.

Take an example, your colleague walked fast ignoring your presence. It upsets you.

You may think, “How rude he is, or he is just selfish. He approaches only when he has some work.”  Here, the fact is only he walked fast & ignored you, rest all is opinion, your interpretation of the event. The reason behind, he has ignored you, may be different. Perhaps his mind may be pre-occupied. 

Asking this question, “fact or opinion”? has one benefit. You become mindful. You become free from unnecessary worries and unhappiness.

Just get into the habit of asking yourself, facts or opinion?

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organization)

Please read the print replica of my latest book written for leaders on amazon kindle; Vitality in Human Resource  


Sachin Aute said...

Right Sir.

Deepika Gahlot said...

Very True !

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