Verify The Facts

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You’ve probably heard the adage “Trust but Verify.”  Nowadays it seems like a challenge to take things at face value.  There are so many stories that are fabricated or embellished that it’s sometimes hard to know if you are getting accurate information. The most egregious to me is those people who portray to be Veterans when they have never served a day in their lives. I could spend an entire post on that alone!

Before making a decision about information you have been presented or a course of action, it is always best to verify the facts.  Especially if you are going into a negotiation or discussion where you will present data and facts you’ve gathered as support for your position.  It’s never a good thing to go into a negotiation and present some data that you thought was factually, only to be challenged or countered on that data as inaccurate.

This is also something to keep in mind if you are a leader with people that report to you and rely on your leadership.  During my Air Force career, I took many mental notes from the leaders that were over me and adapted some of the good qualities and remembered the poor handling of situations or bad qualities to ensure I did not treat my future troops in that manner.

Recently I saw a supervisor lash out at some employees through an email.  She included several high level people on the email as she chastised the employees.  The problem with that was she didn’t address what went wrong and why she was barking new directions.  She never took the time to verify the facts about what happened.  I’ve always heard that you praise in public and punish in private.  Too often leaders forget this.

When I was in the Air Force, one of the jobs I did was to put out bids for construction contracts. There would be dozens and dozens of line items and we had to verify every number and make sure it was accurate. Often times we found an error, which changed the total and in more than one instance, the low bidder was no longer the low bidder because of a math error.

Trust the data or facts you’ve been given but at the same time, verify those facts so you can have the confidence to know your position is solid.



Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

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