The number of people who believe a wide range of things without any basis in fact is amazing. Yet it is nothing new. Of course, there is nothing wrong with holding strong unfounded beliefs, as long as the belief does not cause harm or is imposed on others. But the pace at which unfounded beliefs have infiltrated and dominated my professional practice is stunning. My position, backed by professional standards, is that failure to distinguish between an evidence-based fact and a belief is a personal, professional or business weakness.
I’ve shared a number of times that I was caught by surprise this past year when so many accounting clients come for advice and their problem or story is based on an unfounded belief. Anecdotal indications are that I face this more often than other professionals. If that is true, it might be because of my exposure to rural and generally non-academic local population. I had to learn new skills and approaches to deal with this rapid change. I am grateful to my coaching peers and to instructor Jo Colontonio in particular for instruction under the International Coaching Federation.
Moving forward, I will start using the phrase “untethered from reality” to emphasize and more effectively communicate this point in my conversations about specific professional matters and use the hash phrase #untetheredfromreality in social media communications.