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the Power of Triangulation

Social scientists and researchers would define triangulation as using multiple methods to ensure the validity of data or results. In business, we triangulate a problem by looking at it from different perspectives. The point of this approach is to ensure a solution has been properly vetted. A former boss of mine (and brilliant mind) constantly challenged my strategic recommendations with: “Did you look at it this way? What about that way?” This barrage continued until he was satisfied the tires were kicked from every angle.

It is easy to get defensive when your position is challenged, but remember the goal is to confirm the legitimacy of your solution, idea, or belief. The bigger the decision, the more important it is to triangulate.

Let’s triangulate the concept of triangulation. Who loathes opposing views… dictators, despots, totalitarians, and tyrants? When an idea doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, oppressor-types scheme to eliminate competing ones. This is because differing perspectives are threatening to close-minded or insecure people.

It is important to triangulate your beliefs in all aspects of life. Sources that support your position are comforting, but not always helpful. It takes resistance to build muscle. Find people with opposing viewpoints and challenge your thinking. Ideas that hold up to scrutiny are stronger than untested theories. So, go triangulate!

Remember, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle


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