Yeah, AIs “hallucinate.” So do you!

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I do too. We all do. We’re assessment making beings——constantly, inescapably constructing interpretations of events, people, motives, ourselves, etc.

We can do no other. (As Peter Yaholkovsky puts it, “I rarely make assessments; they’re just already there!”) We encounter the world shaped by our histories, by the filters that our filters have built. Again, not, there’s anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld would remind us…except when we start to believe our own stories…not noticing that they’re stories, not “fact”.

Let me give you an example: A coaching client told me recently, “they think I can’t cut it.” “How do you know?” I asked. “Well,” my client responded, “I guess I don’t really; maybe it’s me being nervous.”

It gets funny. When you start noticing yourself making interpretations about other people’s interpretations about your interpretations, you might start wondering whether there’s better way to play.

Fortunately, there is. Fernando Flores teaches a simple practice for encountering assessments (whether someone else’s or your own): 1) recognizing that it’s an assessment, not “the truth”; 2) recognizing that it may be based on actual evidence or experience—or not—and inquiring into which; 3) remembering (or deciding) whether you’re open to (or interested in), that person’s assessments, and 4), deciding whether or not to pursue the conversation further. Try it—starting with being grateful for the assessment, whatever it is—and notice what happens to your reactivity, your mood, and to the focus or squirreliness of your attention.

(I call it a practice because—believe me—it takes practice. Lots of practice.)

It’s not about “getting it right.” It’s about whether your interpretations serve your commitments, your relationships, your sense of possibilities. It’s about how your interpretations shape the moods in which you encounter the world, and in turn how your moods shape, your interpretations—and your possibilities.

What does all this have to do with strategy, innovation, sustainable business, regenerative economies, and climate action? Everything.

To be continued…

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