Surround yourself with believable people

This is the third post I will be creating on Ray Dalio’s book “Principles.”

Where do you go for advice? Who do you talk to? Better make sure they’re believable. That that begs the question, “How do you know if someone is believable?” Read on to learn more about making better decisions by choosing believable people. By aligning yourself with believable people, you might find that you’re wrong less often.

When I was young I remember telling my mom that someone in school was treating me badly and purposely giving me bad advice. She told me, “Consider the source.” This didn’t make sense to me at the time so I followed up with more questions, “What does consider the source mean?”

She said, “You need to consider the source of the message you’re getting. Make sure you know who’s talking, what they’re saying, and consider if they have any skin in the game.”

After I heard this, I started to really consider the source. And once I started to really consider who was talking, why they’re saying what they’re saying, and if they had any skin in the game, I started making better decisions where I was happier with the outcomes.

In Ray Dalio’s book “Principles.”, he devotes entire sections of the book to learning to spot believable people:

“I define believable people as those who have repeatedly and successfully accomplished the thing in question – who have a strong track record with at least three successes – and have great explanations of their approach when probed.” – Ray Dalio

Now that we have a definition of believable people, let’s get further into separating the messages from believable people and those who are not to be so readily believed:

“Don’t believe everything you hear. Opinions are a dime a dozen and nearly everyone will share theirs with you. Many will state them as if they are facts. Don’t mistake opinions for facts.” – Ray Dalio

And if that’s not enough of a definition of believable people, read on:

“One of the most important decisions you can make is who you ask questions of. Make sure they’re fully informed and believable. Find out who is responsible for whatever you’re seeing to understand and then ask them. Listening to uninformed people is worse than having no answers at all.” – Ray Dalio

So the bottom line here is don’t believe everything you hear. Not all facts are equal. Consider who you ask questions of, who you rely on, and who has your best interests in mind.

Now that you’re prepared to filter the believable people from those that are less so, stay strong and keep that believability filter running at full speed.

“Remember that everyone has opinions and they are often bad.” – Ray Dalio

In closing, remember what Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So make sure you surround yourself with believable people.

Advertisements

Author: David Neely

Professional Software Developer. Technology and Web Coordinator at the University of Hawaii's Manoa Career Center.