My Truth and Your Truth

By Dave Favor, The Wise OwlI was watching a movie on television that I downloaded from one of the on-demand sites.  This movie had three prices depending on the level of definition, and I chose High Definition.  I mentioned to someone that the high definition cost $4.99.  They insisted that it cost $6.99.  We were getting into a discussion when I decided to ask a few questions. Well, it turns out that we were both right.  Depending on what service I used, the cost was different.

How many times does this happen in your business?  Depending on a person’s point of reference their understanding may be different.  Kind of like your truth is not my truth, but both are right. A better question may be, how many times have you wasted time in a heated discussion when both answers were right?  Sometimes a little flexibility can save much time. In a business, this is an easy discussion to avoid by just stating that the boss wins.  However, does the boss really win?

Many times I ask people do you want to win the battle and lose the war?  Alternatively, perhaps walk away from a battle but win the war.   You will never win either if you cannot first understand someone else’s perception of the truth or at least understand that perceptions differ.

Dealing with people in business is like dealing with people in personal relationships.  You have to understand their upbringing, environment, and experience and compare it to yours.  Each forms a perception of what is right.  You wrap it in knowledge and give yourself a competitive edge in an argument.  That seems like so much work.  My question to you is, what is your goal; prove you are right or win the war?

One of the things we teach in client/customer relationship marketing is that frankly the customer or client is probably always right.  That upset or angry person is truly telling you what they believe from their perception of an event.  That is why it is fruitless to engage in a debate over the cause or effect of the issue.  You may prove your point and refuse to concede your position thus winning the argument, but your business just lost the war. What do you gain by engaging in the debate?  You probably will not change their mind, and it simply frustrates you.   If you want to state your position, do so but quit at that point.   Further engagement only creates ill will.

What is wrong with simply saying “I see your point.”   Doesn’t mean you agree. It does not mean you are wrong. What if you do not see their point?  Frankly then don’t say anything. Move on.

Another way of thinking about the truth is to realize in this world there is your truth, my truth and probably somewhere in between is the real truth.  How you view something is based on many things including your upbringing, cultural background, knowledge, and experiences.