There are two sides to every story, or are there?


The world around us is in shambles at the moment. The veil of a stable, booming civilisation has been rocked to it’s core by a virus that has disrupted our very way of life.

Opinions and frustrations are at an all time high as individuals fight to be heard, make sense of the chaos and create a better world.

To understand why this is happening, and to figure out what we, you, I, can do about it, as individuals we need to understand the issues that are plaguing us, from an impartial point of view. The third story.

Think back to a time you had a disagreement with someone (in the current climate it probably wasn’t long ago) It may have been a work dispute, an argument on social media, frustration with a friend or your partner or a conflict with a stranger.

We have all heard the saying ‘there are two sides to every story. Well, that is about 66% true, there is one more side, a side that when understood, allows us to be wrong less and to understand more.

The Third story is that which an impartial observer would recount.

Our way forward is to both experience the world first hand, and then recount those experiences as the impartial observer.

This is a solution because it allows you to take off your rose coloured glasses, and see the situation, conflict, argument without your strongly held biases.

This isn’t an easy thing to do, but as Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen discuss in their book Difficult Conversations we can work to improve our impartiality by recounting the events as if an outside audience is watching a recording of what happened. ‘What was said’ ‘What happened’ ‘ How did you react’ all remove subjectivity.

‘ The key is learning to describe the gap – or difference – between your story and the other person’s story. Whatever else you may think and feel, you can at least agree that you and the other person see things differently’

If you can acknowledge the existence of three stories, we can build common ground and forget how we feel, to focus on what is right.

This promotes a willingness to actively consider objectivity, to seek out truth and it will encourage iothers to do the same, moving us all forward together.

The game is to be wrong less, come and play the game with me.