The Truth Lies in the Middle

Are you listening to all sides of a story before making a decision?

Summary
Transcript

As a former journalist and anchor at CNN, Sharon Frame knows the importance of learning all sides of a story before drawing conclusions. As a leader, it’s crucial to understand this principle in order to lead well, particularly during times of conflict. “[A leader must] know the facts. You have got to honor people's perception of the facts, but I think it's important for us to understand as leaders we've got to make the call, the final call,” says Sharon.

She also recognizes that making that call is not easy. Naturally, we’re inclined to hear those we like or identify with more clearly, even as we’re making an effort to hear all sides of a story. “But that's why you're the leader. That's why you have to make the tough calls, because you're called to weigh both parts of a story,” she explains. “Identify what makes sense and what doesn't, and come up with the truth, which is a lot of times in the middle.”

Click to listen to Sharon’s take on finding truth in the midst of conflict.

One of the things I learned in journalism earlier on in my life is that just because it looks like it's correct doesn't necessarily mean it's correct. I've had occasions where I would sit and talk to someone and I was convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that they were right. That their side of the story was correct, until I sat with the opposing person, and heard their story. And the old saying that in between is where the truth is. It really is important for us, again, to honor what other people are saying because in between A and B, what happens is right there in that sweet spot is where the truth is.

So I take that in my own personal life as a leader to make sure that I am not running quickly to judge a situation because I need to sit down and hear both sides. And everybody thinks that their side is correct. But at the end of the day where is the truth? The truth lies in the middle. Well, first of all a leader's not quick to judge if they honor both arguments, or they at least give it fair value, and take time to sit down. You're not quick to judge. You're not quick to take sides. And when we take sides in situations we're dishonoring someone while we honor someone else.

You can't jump the gun and just assume that because Worker A says this, and Worker B comes back and they have a different interpretation of what happened in the meeting. It's just like you have a meeting and people come out of the meeting with different interpretations of what took place. And so you have a discussion about a particular issue and you're saying to yourself, "Now, who is right?" As a leader, you have got to first of all know the facts. You have got to honor people's perception of the facts, but I think it's important for us to understand as leaders we've got to make the call, the final call. And that entails knowing the facts of the situation, and not having preferential treatment.

There are times where you get in situations where because you either like a person or you hired a person, you are more prone to side with that person. And that is not a good thing because you're making decisions based on a like, and not the facts. So as a leader, sometimes you have to make unpopular calls that will not sit well with people. But that's why you're the leader. That's why you have to make the tough calls, because you're called to weigh both parts of, in my case, a story. Identify what makes sense and what doesn't, and come up with the truth, which is a lot of times in the middle.
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Sharon Frame

Sharon Frame is an award-winning CNN anchor and writer, dynamic international speaker and acclaimed author. Sharon combines her 20+ years in TV journalism along with her expertise in public speaking, marketing and sales. She works wit...

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