The Potential For Truth

by HardTalk™ Team | Perspiration

As humans, when we see and hear something – we notice a Truth. For example, we might notice that the person delivering the HardTalk training, is sitting on the table as he talks to the room of participants.

We see and hear a Truth (or Truths) and then we tell ourselves a story based on those Truths – and that story will be influenced by our filters and our experience.  Perhaps you consider sitting on the table to be a sign of rudeness, perhaps it makes you feel relaxed?

And of course it’s not the only story we could tell based on those Truths. If we had different filters we’d probably come up with a different story. It’s only one Potential

If a typical, middle-aged Japanese person saw a trainer sitting on the desk they would like-ly see the trainer as lazy or unprofessional. Because of their different filters a typical young American would be likely to see the same Truth and come up with a different Potential e.g. that the trainer was tired.

There are pretty much always many possible Potentials.

The Potential we “choose” is the one in charge though – it leads to an emotion and then that emotion leads to an action. So if we want to manage action – our own or someone else’s – we need to manage the emotions and that means acknowledging there are lots of different potentials and  going back to the truths.

Being aware of our tendency to see Potentials as reality is a first step in controlling our emotions. We’re not saying that we’re always wrong in our Potential nor that our filters aren’t useful – they’re the sum of our experience and can be helpful.  But we need to be aware that they’re there if we want to manage our behaviour. And that is exactly what HardTalk is all about.

If you’d like to learn more about mastering the art and science of difficult conversations or HardTalk you can do so here; by signing up for the newsletter or sending us an email. We’d also love to hear your thoughts on this and other topics on LinkedIn or Twitter .

Dawn Metcalfe is an executive coach, facilitator, trainer and leadership advisor. She is also the author of Managing the Matrix (published in both English and Arabic) and HardTalk™. Dawn is the founder of Dubai based PDSi, which helps individuals and teams get even better at what they do, and has worked with business leaders around the world to change the way they see the world, their behaviour and their impact on others.


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