Can you tell the difference between fact and opinion

There is a lot of talk about fairness and trust in the media at the moment.

Pew Research in the US has just released some interesting findings based on the question: Can you tell the difference between fact and opinion in the news?

“The results suggest the politically aware, digitally savvy and those more trusting of the news media fare better in differentiating factual news statements from opinions. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are more likely to classify a news statement as factual if it favors their side.”

Clearly, that’s in the US and not in Australia. Or is it?

On Wednesday at our Leadership League breakfast, Head of Philosophy at Monash University, Dr Monima Chadha pointed to two of the most important skills you can develop to boost your Career Mastery.

The first is critical thinking. At its simplest level, this is the ability to construct arguments or strategies for going forward; and being able to analyse and interpret those put forward by others.

To sort out what is fact from opinion is a crucial part of this. In the same way that not everything on the Internet is true, just because your boss said it, doesn’t make it true either. Or does it?

The second key to boosting career mastery is mindfulness. The goal here is to be present focused such that you can sit with and sort through what is being said. If you do this well, you can sort through both what others are saying and your own biases and assumptions.

If you can do both of these things – think critically and pay attention to what is really going on, then you’re going to be well placed to master your career.

PS: Mark your diary for August 8 – the date of our next Leadership League Breakfast. Details soon.