An apple is an apple. A fact is a fact. Facts can be verified and can be proven to be true or false through objective evidence.
However, when making decisions about what to do – whether for your career, the organization you work with, or your life – it is critical to be able to discern whether the facts, the data, or industry norms apply to your specific situation.
Here are some examples of facts that can be verified through objective evidence, and yet were 100% NOT true for clients of mine:
- To be fired ends careers and ruins reputations.
- To be hired as an Executive Director, you first need to get development experience.
- Experience and skills are the most valuable asset you have, and thus are critical to communicate in resumes and job interviews.
- You can be successful and paid at the level you are worth OR you can have joy and work-life balance.
- When you leave a job after less than three years, you’ll have a hard time convincing a recruiter that it’s not a red flag.
- The subscription model is dead for performing arts organizations.
- Arts marketing must focus on attracting new, younger audiences to create sustainability and show relevance.
- Our digital culture and economy create social disconnection.
- Funders don’t provide operating support.
The list goes on and on.
As you prepare to make decisions, I invite you to pause to reveal and then test the facts – and your assumptions about the facts – that you are bringing to the party.
Four Fact-Checking Prompts:
- What is the fact that is informing my beliefs and assumptions about what is or is not possible, and what I should or should not do next?
- How do I know for sure that that fact must relate to my specific scenario?
- What would need to occur for me to know it does not?
- If not true, what would that mean? What would that make possible? And to whom?
Unlike blind optimism, this mindful process must delve deep, be evidence based, be led by the intention to have impact, requires courageous vulnerability and strong leadership.
There can be an ease, and even a sense of belonging, that comes with “piling on” to the doom and gloom predictions and pontifications of others citing why things are not possible, or hard.
Instead, question and investigate, challenge and experiment, gather data. See what is true – for your specific scenario.
As always, let me know what thoughts this blog brings up, and if you’d like a guide as you test the “facts” and challenge assumptions and limiting beliefs.
To your success!