There are at least two sides to every story, depending where you look. Problems arise when the core message abruptly changes from one version of the truth to the next. Especially in the case of communications shared by an organisation, misalignment in audience-dependent messaging immediately hints at a lack of integrity.

We live in an era where disinformation is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Worse, the recently released Kantar Public report highlights that four in every five Kiwis believe some sort of misinformation. And with so many versions of the truth, how do you figure out what you believe?

First, understand that anyone can tell a story and make a claim. The trouble starts when you take information at face value and fail to apply the four claim testers: intuition, authority, logic and evidence. Since the pandemic, critical thinking is more important than ever! Learn to recognise bias, make a judgement on the reliability of your source and seek evidence to support or challenge your initial findings.

Once you know your own mind, the next step is speaking up. Here’s an example….Zara (not her real name) recently saw a social media post from an organisation where she was previously employed. Although they painted themselves as a family organisation before she joined, they treated Zara very badly after she received a cancer diagnosis. Without the energy to fight a personal grievance case, she resigned from the company to focus on her treatment. Months later and now in remission, Zara was incensed to see the organisation posting about family vibes, knowing what she (and others) had experienced at their hands. No longer incapacitated by illness, Zara is looking to register a complaint with the organisation’s regulatory body.

When Albert Einstein said: “Be a voice, not an echo” he was encouraging authenticity, out loud. Because your courage in speaking up has the power to inspire others, help them question what they hear and let them decide for themselves what they believe to be true.