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The comfort of facts

In many organizations, facts are the fuel that inform decisions, large and small. A thorough presentation of the facts involved in a decision making process is crucial to avoid failures and missteps.

And yet, facts are also a great way to hide – which is exactly what happens in many organizations.

Sticking to the facts is a great way of hiding from the hard work of understanding what the facts mean. How they relate to our values and to who we are.

Facts, of course, tell us nothing about what’s right and wrong, just what is true and what isn’t. They don’t show us the way forward.

Hiding behind facts means letting others figure out what it all means.

Hiding behind facts means: I don’t want to decide, I don’t want to have an opinion. I’ll let others do the heavy lifting of making a commitment.

Facts are a comforting place in that there is no right or wrong. There is no risk taking. There is no courage involved. It’s just facts.

In comparison, making decisions feels scary because most decisions that are worth the effort of a presentation involve values and experiences. And, probably more importantly, they involve the possibility of being wrong.

Don’t hide behind facts! Don‘t let the others dominate the discussion on what the facts mean!

The most important part of the work is beyond the facts.

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