What the heck is a “fact”?

In their book Crucial Conversations, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler lay out a structure and a process to guide us through difficult conversations – those kinds of conversations that could head south quickly, with or without warning.  The authors suggest that we start with facts.

I tend to think of “facts” as the things you can sense, e.g., touch, hear, see, taste, or smell.  Facts are defined as pieces of true information and things that are true or that really happened (as opposed to things that are imaginary).

However, sensing (relying on what we touch, hear, see, taste, or smell) is only one to take in information.  Carl Jung theorized that while some of us prefer using our senses, others prefer to use our intuition.

And, when it comes to making sense of information, some of us prefer to do so through thinking, while others prefer to use feeling.

So, what exactly are the “facts” for those who are innately intuitive and prefer to make decisions based on feelings?  Can intuition and feelings amount to “facts”?   Or, are intuition and feelings simply imaginary?

Can facts only derive from the information we take in through our senses and use rational thought to make sense of?  Or, are intuition and feelings also a source of fact?

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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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