Trust, But Verify
by DW Green — November 4, 2020
One of the wonders of your mind is the quickness with which it can comprehend and categorize things. As Malcom Gladwell wrote in Blink, we are constantly making split-second decisions based on years of experience and knowledge as well as using the same skill to confirm prejudices, stereotypes, and assumptions. Clearly, the former thinking is a source of strength, whereas the latter is a great weakness.
We lose very little by taking a beat to consider our own thoughts. Is this really so bad? What do I really know about this person? Why do I have such strong feelings here? Is anxiety really adding much to the situation? What’s so special about_________?
By asking these questions—by putting our impressions to the test—we’re less likely to be carried away by them or make a move on a mistaken or biased one. We’re still free to use our instincts, but we should always, as the Russian proverb says, “trust, but verify.”
Filed Under: DW's Blog