#TBT: Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts.

Seth Godin urges you to use facts as part of your decision-making when available. It sounds simple, right? But it’s vastly complicated by the fact that every fiber of your being is built to ignore facts when you’ve got a “feeling” about something.

And his point is also that there’s more good data than ever. Here’s an excerpt:

“What are you going to do when your hunches don’t match the data that’s now pouring in?

The data shows, for example, that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. It doesn’t feel that way, of course, but will you respect the data and stop, cold turkey?

The data shows that the vast majority of wine drinkers can’t tell the difference between a $20 bottle and a $100 bottle. Will that keep you from buying the fancy wine? How much is the placebo effect worth?”

I have two things to say about this.

First, stop texting when you’re driving. Honestly, it’s about the dumbest thing you could do. (Yes, that’s a bit of a sidebar.)

Second, drop the need to be right in favor of the need to find the truth. I’ve always tried (well, not always … it took me a number of years to mature to this point, I’ll admit) to take the mindset in any business discussion that I don’t care who’s right. I just want to know what’s right.

None of this, by the way, discounts the value of intuition. Data and information can point you in a lot of key directions, but without good intuition, it’s essentially useless. Like ammo without a gun.

But if your attitude is that you’re paid the big (or not so big) bucks because you’ve got the “Golden Gut” and don’t need to know what the marketplace of data is saying, well, good luck staying employed!

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