(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

John le Carré, in talking about his book ‘The Spy Who Came In From The Cold’ made the point that, while few believed him since he had worked for a while in the British secret service, the book was totally fabricated, fiction, made-up, not real. The story never happened.

Because he was a very good writer, articulate and literary, a masterful weaver of tales, people assumed, or wanted to, it was based in fact, a thinly veiled reciting of stories from the inner sanctum of British Intelligence, i.e. The Truth.

Why did they do that? Because it was credible. It seemed as if it could have happened.

But it was also inauthentic. Not a lie he was trying to foist on an unsuspecting public, rather it was a really good yarn, a fictional novel. One which still engages and entertains readers today.

By the way, le Carré pointed out that had any part of the book been real British Intelligence would never have allowed it to be published! It’s very appearance bespeaks its inauthenticity. Oh, but is it a credible tale.

All around us in life are stories which are credible, but inauthentic.

Coaching Point: How do you filter for authentic in the midst of credible?

Copyright 2023 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.