We are wired to understand. We want to connect one event to another and to know why something has happened (or hasn’t).
In the absence of real information, we tend to make stuff up. It’s not that we are trying to fabricate lies or untruths, but our minds cannot accept that we don’t know why, so we theorize, conjecture, and… make stuff up.
I had reached out to a friend recently and not heard anything back. I reached out again but still didn’t hear back. At that point, my mind started trying to figure out why.
Were they sick? Maybe they were dying.
Did I offend them? I can’t remember our last conversation, maybe I really made them angry.
It is fine to try and understand, but one of my personal challenges is that I fill in the missing information with worst case scenarios, so when I don’t have complete information I start thinking negatively.
What does this mean for leaders? Two things:
Even if all we can say is “I don’t know, I’ll get back to you” or “Crazy busy, will call later.”
Minimal information is better than know information.
Do good and be well,