“Just the Facts, Ma’am”??

Are facts just simply facts?  Or are “facts” dependent on a person’s perception and perspective? In other words, can facts exist without human perception and interpretation?

I don’t have the answers to this question. What I do know is that good people can see facts differently – and that this doesn’t necessarily mean one person must be right and the other wrong.

No two people will have the same recollection of an event due to the unique ways each of us takes in and filters information. What can be achieved is an understanding of one another’s perspective. This may not equate to a full understanding and by no means indicates agreement with another’s perspective. It is nothing more than an attempt to see an event through another person’s eyes, brain, and heart. This attempt can precipitate a breakthrough in the type of communication two people (or nations, for that matter) can have. Once we have made the attempt to see from another person’s perspective, we can then begin to make decisions as to whether we will choose to alter our own behavior, perceptions, and even beliefs.

So, rather than insisting that someone stick to the “facts”, maybe we need to ask that person’s perception – and move forward from there.

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About Debra Healy
Conflict Consultant Specializing in Employment and Workplace Conflict Mediation/Facilitation/Conflict Coaching/Conflict Training

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