Polls, Pundits and Polarizing Opinions
Recently a client called upset with his CEO. He read the handwriting on the wall. Or so he thought. He just wasn’t sure what the handwriting was saying. Should the client stay? Should the client leave? Should he look at the myriad of other employment options that he had? Was he being paranoid?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we always knew the guaranteed outcome? Everyone would buy a lottery ticket and everyone would win. In the case of the handwriting on the wall, this is what I said to him: if there really are bad guys with guns following you, then you aren’t paranoid.
The point I was making was this: always push to look for observable, measurable evidence. If the observable, measurable evidence says there are bad guys, run. If the observable, measurable provides no evidence, then yes perhaps you are just paranoid.
Observable, measurable evidence can be provided from a multitude of places. Anecdotal evidence certainly counts. Statistics count. Perspectives from others may count although solicited evidence counts more than the unsolicited advice that finds its way to your door step. Direct communication counts both in written and verbal form.
What doesn’t count is what you “think” or “feel”. Just saying “I don’t think he likes me” or “I feel like he doesn’t like me” is not enough. There is a caveat. I don’t often agree with Shirley MacLaine. I do however agree with her when she says, “your intuition is God’s way of talking to you”. So if what you think or feel is truly based on your intuition, then it counts as measurable.
Pundits, polls and opinions don’t count as observable, measurable evidence. I’m not saying they don’t count. What I am saying is that they don’t count as evidence. The polls said Mitt Romney was going to beat incumbent Barack O’bama. It didn’t happen.
The polls said Trump would win in a big turnout in Iowa. It didn’t happen. Polls count, just not for a lot.
Pundits may serve a purpose of information. They count, Pundits don’t count as evidence. There is a difference between solicited and unsolicited advice. Pundits offer unsolicited advice. Unsolicited advice counts, just not as much as the advice they we solicit and sometimes pay for.
Opinions are like bellybuttons. Everyone has one. Everyone has a bellybutton and an opinion. It’s not that opinions are wrong. They are just not verifiable.
When you think about making a job change or wondering what someone thinks of you, push yourself to look for the observable, measurable evidence. Look past the polls, past the pundits, and past the polarizing opinions.
Wait awhile and check the wall for handwriting. If there are no bad guys, enjoy the moment.