“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”~Aldous Huxley
I know I’ve done it. I’ve seen my kids (and other family members, and friends) do it. I’ve challenged clients as they’ve begun to do it.
The colleague who routinely takes our ideas and takes credit. We hope they’ll stop, so we ignore them for now. The project that’s going south, with the numbers to prove it. We hold on to wishes for a turnaround tomorrow, rather than taking a harder look and some harder actions. The family member that takes advantage, and takes advantage, and takes advantage again. We routinely tell ourselves “maybe this time they’ll be nice.'”
The facts don’t change. When we ignore them, they still don’t change. As Maya Angelou said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
Now, it’s true that things can always – or almost always – turn around. People can change; numbers can go up; stalled projects can begin again. But ignoring the facts the way they are now does nothing to help things turn around. In fact, it can actually set us up for even greater disappointment.
When a client mentions a team member over and over and over again, I invariably question, “Why is that person still on your team?” When my friend tells me about the inappropriateness of his mother (or father, or brother, or sister, or friend), and I’m pretty certain I’ve heard this same story many, many times before, I invariably ask, “Why do you still allow yourself to be in that situation with them?” When issues arise that jeopardize the success of a project, I hold myself to asking my client what we need to look at, and admit to, and do.
Ignoring the facts doesn’t work. Looking at them, thinking about them, working through them does.
Where have you been ignoring the facts? What will you do about it?
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