Last week's Atlanta Journal article implying that we cheated on state tests is an example for me of how difficult it is to manage my mental models. My initial thoughts were not positive and I jumped to the assumption that they were trying to take the heat off of their cheating scandal by implying that others across the country are doing the same thing. But, why us? Dawn helped me with that when she explained the methodology, but before she was able to do that it was very difficult to not have that assumption drive a negative, lashing out reaction.
I found this post from The Heart of Innovation to be timely and once again reinforced my understanding of how powerful our assumptions are in being able to control our behavior. I am not pleased with the assumption in the article nor do I believe that we have cheated. It has, however, resulted in us reviewing our testing protocols and looking at results in different data configurations.
I'm going to reprint the entire post from Mitch Ditkoff because it may also serve as a reminder for you of how powerful assumptions that result in ladders of inference can be. It is much easier to feed our assumptions than it is to suspend them and become open to a different understanding of our world.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
"One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
"The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."