Is That Really the Truth?

We live in a time when we are inundated with news, facts, figures, claims, statistics, and other information. This growth in available information is accelerating as the methods of spreading it are added. We now have word of mouth, mail, email, websites, Google and other search engines, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and the list continues to grow. In fact the available ways to send and receive information can be overwhelming.

But There’s a Problem

With all the information with which we are bombarded, how can we tell what is true, and even if true is it valuable? First, what is truth? I once heard a definition that I think is helpful. Truth is anything (symbol, word, etc.) that corresponds to reality. So, for example, the word light corresponds to the reality we know at light, and likewise the word two or the symbol 2 correspond to a particular value we know.

The Problem is Truth Claims

Each day we hear numerous statements, some of which are indeed true, others with an element of truth, and others flat out false. Just take a moment to think about the ads you see each day on television, the web, or in print. Add to this the statements that others make. If you carefully consider all the claims being made (actually truth claims), you will see that much of it is simply not true; that is it does not correspond to reality. No, that hair conditioner is not likely to make your hair look like that of the woman in the ad, and no that cologne is not going to make you a lady killer. Get over it. Better yet, learn to recognize that much of what we hear is nothing more than hyperbole designed to make us take a particular action, usually buy something!

Have a Way to Measure Claims

We all need some standards (reality) by which we critique and assess these claims. If they do not correspond to reality, then they are not true. Being highly intuitive, I frequently hear something that I immediately think, “That cannot be true.” Now, granted, upon further investigation I may determine something is indeed true and I have not considered all the available information. But, there are some things people say that just fail to past the sniff test. In other words, what they say simply stinks. For example, there was an email that went around a few years ago claiming that Bill Gates was going to give you five dollars for every email you forwarded. No, he is not. This is a claim so blatantly false it stinks.

This Impacts Your Business

In order to effectively and efficiently run your business, you must have information and it must be true. So, make sure you have in place standards and methods to gauge the truth of the information you receive. This is essential whether you are assessing marketing data, sales stats, financial information, or considering a new computer system. If it is not true it can’t help you. While the truth may be painful, at least you know with it you are operating in reality. You and your business deserve no less.

So, probe and test information. If someone has a problem with you questioning, you may be on to something. In fact, I remember experiencing this with some health insurance quotes for a company several years ago. Something in the presentation just didn’t smell right. When I pressed, I got push back from one of the agents. In the end, it turned out my concerns were valid. The fact that the agent had not been forthcoming initially resulted in the lowering of my trust for the agent in the future. Bottom line, when you say something, tell the truth.

How about it? Have you ever seen your business suffer because what was presented to you was not true, at least not entirely?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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