Success is embracing the truth
“Is it just me or do you often, before a couple has a big fight with a potential break up, see one of them make statements about how much they love each other just a few days before?” (an observant friend) “I think deep down they knew it wasn’t the way they wanted it to be. But maybe if you just shout the opposite of what you want the truth to be, the bad thing can be averted?”
I don’t know about the above statement, but I have indeed seen examples of this observation. It is indeed true that in order to successfully cope with things, we need to acknowledge the truth.
Character Dimension 2: Orientation towards Truth
This dimension is about
‘the ability to be in touch with the truth of a situation, see it clearly, and have the ability to accommodate.’
Have you ever ignored ‘the Elephant in the Room’?
Met people that are in DENIAL about a certain situation?
Or ever told people that things at work were okay, when you knew they were not? That you said “Things will be all right” while you had to rob Peter to pay Paul?
The above situations however, is where people KNOW there is something wrong, but don’t admit. Yet the issue with this character dimensions is that most ‘un-truths’ are unknown. We assume things, and take them for truth.
“Our company delivers great service” Really? How do you know that?
“Our clients stay with us” – In my experience as a business coach, I’d say that in about 8 out of 10 cases once we started measuring, it turned out that most clients did NOT stay with us…
“If the ball would not have bounced off that branch, I would have hit a 69 on the golf course today! Now it was a 73, but I was so close! It bounced off, and it kicked into that impossible rough, I couldn’t get out and made a double bogey. But it could have been a 69!”
Could have, would have, should have. It did not happen! Yet the alternative reality where we were so close, is so much nicer than the real one. We want to feel good…
Daniel Kahneman, the nobelprize winner in economics, wrote a superb book on how our brain tricks us. It is called ‘Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow’. His main thesis is that our brain, in order to preserve energy, develops these amazing shortcuts to run our day to day lives. The list of examples and situations where we do not really take the time to think things through, but just jump to conclusions is near endless. And our brain is so smart, that we can get away with foregone conclusions and assumptions that are never tested anymore.
Thus we create our own reality in our brain. The one where customers tend to stay, and we close “over 80% of all leads into sales” (when we measure, we usually find about half what people expect).
There is a second reason why we prefer subconscious fast brain loops over ones that are likely to be more truthful: telling others the truth can be unpleasant, which could then open an energy draining conversation. Many business suffer from sub par performance because people don’t give honest feedback to each other. We use the acronym ‘NICE’ for that.
NICE, as it stands for ‘Not Interested, Caring Enough, to tell you the truth.
With that acronym in mind, we coaches often tell each other ‘Stop being NICE to each other.’
Stop being NICE to each other.
In our model, we measure the
- Truth about yourself
- About others
- About the world
At the higher levels of this dimension we find people who are actually quite aware of the truth, but who are unwilling, or unable to do something about it.
An example of this is the biblical story of Eli, the high priest, whose sons are horribly misbehaving by stealing from the offering table and sleeping with the women that visit the tabernacle. Eli is totally aware of it, knows that it is wrong, but does nothing. Ultimately, him looking the other way to avoid a conflict leads to the death of both his sons and himself, and probably even worse, the loss of the Ark of the Covenant. His low score at this character dimension, leading to a very serious character integrity issue, was the cause of his epic fail.
At the highest level we find people who learn the truth, and even when it is unpleasant, deal with it.
Remember the section about ‘every change in thinking starts with Awareness’? Almost every good coach will start with this character dimension when they really want to move their clients thinking to the next level. It is like losing weight. Until that dreaded moment where you look at the scales, or realize that a certain piece of clothing is no longing fitting, you wait to take action. It starts with acknowledging the truth.
If you are interested in the system to actually measure these dimensions, contact your compound coach, or else firstname.lastname@example.org
Series 4 of your 8 Dimensions of Being – “How to Embrace the Truth” by Rene Hollebrandse