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The Ladder of Inference

Have you ever been accused of “putting 2 and 2 together and making 5”, meaning that the other person thinks you have jumped to the wrong conclusion? Or even vice versa?

In today’s fast-moving world, we are always under pressure to act now, rather than spend time reasoning things through and thinking about the true facts. Not only can this lead us to a wrong conclusion, but it can also cause conflict with other people, who may have drawn quite different conclusions on the same matter.

I was on the receiving end of this equation some time ago which affected both my friendship and business relationship with someone whom I thought would be a friend for life. Unfortunately, its a sad reality that business can get in the way of good friendships.

Pity though, cos I’d taken a real shine to this very decent chap who was in the same age-group and on the same wavelength as me (I thought), and came across as being very mature in his thinking, but I guess he went so far up the Ladder of Inference that before he knew it, there was no turning back…

Ah well… c’est la vie

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Primus inter pares September 21, 2010, 3:29 pm

    Strong thoughts sir. I was hoping you could elaborate futher. I was told by a friend that we should not build business with friends but rather build friendship out of business. If that rings any truth, I dont really know.

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