Monday, October 1, 2012

The Other Half of the Story

I read a news article today about the co-founder of a high profile company leaving suddenly and surprising most industry observers. Turns out things at this company were not as rosie as most people believed they were... Appearances can be deceiving. I gave the kids several examples: the "ideal couple" who suddenly divorces - turns out we have no idea what happens behind "closed doors". Or the company that gets acquired only because it is about to go out of business.

You can't believe most of what you hear. Particularly since many individuals and organizations have a  vested interest in painting a pretty picture of themselves. Most Facebook updates are "positive". But it is probably safe to asume that for every positive posting someone makes, there is a negative one they could have made. So, remember you are often getting at best half the story...

Two practical implications of the above:

1) Remember this when deciding where to go work, where to go to school, or where to go live. Try to get the other half of the story before deciding.

2) Some people provide more balanced information than others. A person who appears happier than another isn't necessarily so. He might just be less open about his problems.

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