“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about truth and lies. All humans lie. There are numerous research reports and published studies that show that we all lie. Whether a pastor or prisoner, black or white, we all lie. From rationalized half-truths to orchestrated cons, lies hurt our unique ability to communicate. They, as the MLK quote states above, separate us and break down real discourse with each other. This has serious consequences that negatively impair our personal and professional relationships.
However – in knowing we all lie – what is the best strategy to free us from lies and liars? Disclosure is a forgotten tool that helps us navigate the byways of truth and lies. Disclosure, loosely defined as the action of making new information known, is a powerful weapon against the tendency to blur reality and fiction.
“Disclosure is a powerful weapon against the tendency to blur reality and fiction.”
As a surgeon and scientist, I disclose all possible positive and negative outcomes of a treatment or surgery to my patients. Before I say anything else, I disclose to the patient. I disclose all the good and all the bad. My hope is that the patient then reciprocates and starts an honest conversation with me about their questions, fears and anxieties. From here, we can cement a trustful rapport that will allow us to share in decision making and achieve what is in the best interests of the patient.
One can build on this concept of disclosure. Whether you are discussing with a friend or negotiating with a competitor, start by disclosing up front. Leslie K John’s book, How To Negotiate With A Liar, shows that humans have a strong reaction to reciprocate and return disclosure with truth. This disclosure is a surprise tactic when you encounter a liar. When you are facing a deceptive strategist, start with disclosure and they will find it difficult to avoid the honest road.
“When you are facing a deceptive strategist,
start with disclosure and
they will find it difficult to avoid the honest road.”
MEDICINE & MACULA: Check out one of our recent publications, Chronic Recurrent Pseudophakic Endophthalmitis, published in JAMA Ophthalmology (JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(4):455-456. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.3638).
This study details a case of an immunosuppressed patient with active chorioretinitis and chronic endophthalmitis after cataract surgery.
Thanks to everyone for their interest in our growing body of endophthalmitis literature. This is a significant interest of mine and we have more studies planned.
GRATIS: “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” -Abraham Lincoln
My best to you,