It’s not like I didn’t know what to expect. The congress was conducting the Michael Cohen hearing Wednesday. I knew I definitely didn’t want to expose myself to that negativity. It was predictable the Democrats would be asking questions of Cohen as though they were interviewing the pontiff, and the Republicans would be treating Cohen as if he were Darth Vader. But I needed a break from writing, so I turned on CNN while I ate lunch.
Of course I expected posturing and grandstanding, but witnessing the actual shit show was too much to stomach. How embarrassing for both sides. My first gut reaction was it made me embarrassed to be an American. Reflecting a little deeper, I rebounded some to the place where I feel as messy and convoluted the American process is, it's still the best in the world. I turned it off after 15 minutes, but it did make me think about our ability to question, listen and process information.
Almost every question from either side was exactly designed to create a preconceived response fitting the particular narrative the congressperson wanted to drive. And when the answer didn’t match what they were looking for, the congress member simply interrupted and asked a different question.
How often do we do that in our own lives?
Confirmation bias is insidious today. When you raise a question, are you asking to discover the best possible version of the truth? Or are you fishing for a response to confirm what you believe? Then when you listen to a response, are you listening for what you already believe?
We don’t like to learn new information when it causes us to have to change, question a core belief, or admit that what we previously believed isn’t true.
But that’s where the breakthroughs live. So how are you doing on that?