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Stephen Mayo | Just the Facts

Just the Facts

March 24, 2024

A common pitfall in communication is to mix up the facts with our interpretation of the facts.


She's trying to make me look bad.

I see. How do you know that?

Well in front of the whole team she asked if our project would be completed on-time.

Are you sure she wasn't just asking so she could plan accordingly?

Hmm.  I guess I don't know for sure.


Here are some of the most common flavors of this:

  1. What did the person say, versus what did they mean
  2. What did they say, versus why did they say it
  3. What did the person do, versus what were they intending
  4. What happened, versus "what's really going on here"
  5. What actually happened, versus what are you assuming must have happened


If you notice your own emotions rising, or if your conversation starts to become heated, it can be useful to pause and distinguish what you know to be true from what you're inferring and projecting.


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