The Truth is in the Middle

This post was written by A.T. Gimbel, Partner at Atlanta Ventures.

Here are three ways to uncover the truth in the middle and make the best decisions with the information you have.

The right choice may not be what you think

We all have had to make tough decisions in business and life. If the decisions were always one-sided or crystal clear it would be easy, but that is not the reality. As my grandmother told me, in any argument there are two different sides but the truth is somewhere in the middle. Having different perspectives can actually help you make a better decision. Here are a few ways to best uncover the truth in the middle and make the best decision.

Understand both sides for perspective

In today’s world it feels like society makes you take a side and the other side is wrong. To make better decisions, you should first try and understand both sides. Play devil’s advocate, learn what you don’t know about why each side thinks the way they do. I have seen many mistakes from just making assumptions about the other side of the argument versus truly understanding the why. Once you know the full context from both sides, you now have a better perspective from which to see the implications of your decision.

Paint extremes for best/worst case

Given decision making can be cloudy, I often try to analyze the impact of making decisions at the extreme side of the argument (knowing the best answer is likely in the middle) to help illustrate the best/worst case scenarios. If your goal is optimization, which path leads you closer to that outcome and shifts your view closer to that side of the debate. If your goal is risk minimization, which path leads you closer to that outcome. If you are comfortable with the best/worst cases of each side, the reality is you can find a way to work in the middle.

Pick a path and go

Lastly, you can agonize over which path to take and over analyze too long. At some point you have to pick a path and go. Sometimes the choice doesn’t matter as much as the execution. Align the team, make the choice, and go execute. If you decide a path in a day and even adjust once or twice, you still get there quicker than spending six months deciding which path to take.

Remember debate and different perspectives are good, make the best choice with the information you have, and go execute. The best choices are often a hybrid of the different viewpoints so be open to the truth in the middle.