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How to Distinguish Opinion from Insight



Opinion derives from what we think and feel. It is often detached from things, ideas, and people that we have not personally experienced – or those that we dislike for whatever reason.


Insight is an intentional integration of our experience, knowledge, relationships, and reflection. It offers a more holistic and purposeful perspective than opinion. Insight takes into account things that make us uncomfortable, because that is part of the process of learning and developing new and deeper layers of understanding.


Both opinion and insight are biased. Insight acknowledges the biases that are inherent to the way we understand the world while opinion dismisses the possibility that it is rooted in bias. Thus, insight is both more authentic and more complex than opinion.


Opinion and insight can both be valuable because they offer alternatives or perspectives that might otherwise not be noticed or explored. But opinion can only go so far because it is one-sided and overly simplistic. In addition, opinion is often used to cause harm by falsely elevating the opinion holder(s) while also diminishing and oppressing others.


Insight, on the other hand, can offer valuable wisdom because it is multidimensional, purposeful, and opens up avenues for dialogue and further reflection. Insight is a valuable tool for leaders to employ as we solve complex problems and create new possibilities for thinking, connecting, and engaging with the world.

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