Objectivity is an Illusion

Definition of ob·​jec·​tiv·​i·​ty | \ ˌäb-ˌjek-ˈti-və-tē  the quality or character of being objective lack of favoritism toward one side or another freedom from bias; based on facts rather than feelings or opinions not influenced by feelings

Philosophy: existing outside of the mind : existing in the real world

Earth is still spinning on its axis, despite the whirlwind of daily activity and events. The world wide pandemic has thrown everyone off course; changes are disrupting our lives and the digital transformation has forced people and organizations to be onboard or sink. Research shows that in reality, people rely on emotion rather than logic, which leads them to making better decisions.

The human brain is constantly changing, triggering synapses throughout our brains.  Synapses die off and are replaced by new ones, altering, rewiring and responding to physical changes. These changes continuously impact our moods and thoughts. People learn through storytelling. The transformational leader creates a story about the kind of change necessary to align the needs of people with those of the organization or nation.

Everyone has blind spots when it involves feedback. How can we as individuals or as a group remove barriers to become objective? Review how the feedback is derived: illustrate with data and interpretations, advice, consequences, or expectations. Look at what appears to be different; review how the data is deciphered and how the rules are applied. Seek what is legitimate and address any concerns you have in common with the receiver.

Feedback is relationship based, not metric based. How we can improve ‘Feedback’ between people is through crucial conversations. We need to take the time to discuss differences in opinion and base decisions on facts and discovery. Teach people how to become better receivers of feedback. Develop trust, communication and credibility within the organization. There are no perfect Feedback systems in any organization. Consider applying a Gap Analysis technique to improve communication between people.

Gap Analysis can be a strategic tool for analyzing the gap between the forecasted outcome and anticipated results, via gauging the extent of the task and evaluating how that gap can be bridged. This entails a comparison of the present scenario to a previously established standard.

People form decisions and opinions from their life experiences, relationships and stored memory bank. This is a challenge to objectivity. A perceived solution or answer to an issue will have a different outcome per the individual. A Gap analysis is not the perfect answer. It does make life more interesting.


Stone, Douglas, and Sheila Heen. Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (even When It Is Off Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood), 2015.

Jacobs, Charles S. Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn’t Work and Other Surprising Lessons from the Latest Brain Science. 2019.

Published by Mews News

Blogging from the Pacific Northwest, outdoor enthusiast, photographer, project manager and Certified Digital Forensics Examiner

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