Most of us are familiar with the activity books from our childhood where dots are numbered and we connect them in a certain order until the picture is revealed.
But what do we do if the dots are not numbered?
If we’re presented with a closeup of several dots and no other information, we may be tempted to connect them as we see fit. We may create a shape or shapes and tell ourselves that’s what the picture is. The shapes we’ve created is our best interpretation of the dots we’ve been given. We may even feel pretty secure in our version of these dots.
If someone takes those same dots and creates a different picture, is their interpretation wrong?
No, it’s just different.
What if we’re presented with a longer view of those same dots? We would see that not only were there many more dots, but that without our help, they had formed a lovely picture on their own.
Chris Voss, author of Never Split the Difference, calls this un-presented information the “Black Swan.” It’s information, that if known, would change the outcome of the negotiation. This is the heart of advertising, most negotiations, and all politics. Play up, embellish and state only the best and downplay, delete, or invalidate the lesser aspects. Why?
To control perception.
Without all the facts, a certain candidate looks pretty good. The product seems amazing and that undiscovered parcel of land in Florida is seasonally saturated green-space.
When we don’t have all the facts and/or the big picture, our natural human tendency is to fill in the gaps. We distill what we have, filtered through our experience, bias and belief to arrive at “informed conclusions.”
What we must remember is that we are supplying a certain amount of information that leads us to their conclusions.
What does this mean for you?
When hearing information for the first time, I recommend doing your own investigation. It is wise to look at both sides, the pros and the cons. It helps us make wise decisions. By trusting only one source, we may miss important details that could drastically affect decision making.
That’s why in a normal court of law two sides are represented. If you were the accused, you would certainly want to be heard!
That’s why honest business leaders disclose the up and down sides of their products or services.
And that’s why when you and I work together, we’ll talk through all the process, timeline and what to expect—connecting the dots—so you can make the best informed decision for your book.
Have questions? I’m happy to discuss any questions you may have about your manuscript: how to get started, unstuck, what an editor might think of your finished manuscript, or how our coaching program can help you finish your book by this time next year.
Curious about what it takes to complete your book? You can book your free 30-minute, pressure free consultation here.
I look forward to talking to you soon!