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Steven W. Simpson, Ph.D., Ed. Net Briefs
Scott Airitam, Leadership Systems
Mary Ellen Wilson, World to Discover
Joseph A. Kinney, M.P.A., Safe Spaces, Inc.
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Getting to the Heart of the Matter

"Let's play a game. I'll describe an image, and you fill in the blanks."

We are all familiar with mental games, the kind where the instructor will show you an image and your mind fills in what's missing, or makes a judgment based on perception. Well, unfortunately that's what we do in the real world--we fill in the blanks with what we know, even if what we know is wrong and incorrect. And of course, knowing this, we still rarely take the time to question or correct our thinking.

Given this, and I know you've all experienced it, the fill-in-the-blank method of thinking often produces what becomes your "reality" that, in actuality, is far from the truth. Words and phrases associated with this line of reasoning include perception (you assume you can fill in the blanks with what you "know" about something), imagination (you make believe the something is what it isn't), and deception (in this case, self-deception). Doesn't sound so good, does it?

Thus, taking time to "re-think" your thinking is important. Finding the truth behind an assumption or perception is a healthier way to manage life with the people you work with. They deserve this consideration and your best thinking. And besides, it's the nice thing to do.

Want to get to the heart of the matter? Here are some things to think consider:

1. Listen to what other people are saying without falling into the trap of forming your own conclusions.

2. Ask questions if you even think you might be confused or might misunderstand something you see or hear.

3. Be slow to form conclusions and opinions, especially where others are concerned.

There is no such thing as "perfect" communication, but continuing to willingly live in the world of perceptions and assumptions is a willingness to live in self-deception. Therefore, enjoy searching for details that shed truth on any given situation, for it is only in the truth that reality exists.