I recently heard a speaker who challenged his audience to reconsider what they believed. He spoke specifically about interpersonal communication and how we often take sides over what we believe is true. Belief is not always the same thing as truth.
How many times have we argued our point only to find out we were completely wrong? This is typically the case when I mediate disputes between dentists and team members or dentists and associates. Each side is convinced of their belief, mistaking it as truth even though there is little if any fact to support it. Consider the damage this causes to working relationships, damage that often takes longer to resolve than the dispute itself.
The writer George Bernard Shaw once said, “It is not disbelief that is dangerous; it is belief.”
I know of someone who was told as a child that the equator ran through the state of Georgia, and this belief remained with her well into adulthood. She would argue the point despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Certainly that sounds crazy, but how many of us hold superstitions and stereotypes that are just as farfetched?
Life seems to give us plenty of opportunities to realize the beliefs we hold on to are probably the ones needing the closest scrutiny. Therefore, if you want to strengthen your relationships, consider spending a little more time exploring the truth.