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The Power of Perception



For the past several years, I have been discussing the need for us to leverage our viewpoints in the workplace. Our viewpoints are made up of three key elements:

  1. Assumptions

  2. Perceptions

  3. Expectations

This tool has been extremely helpful when addressing concerns around communication in teams. For example, a common issue I hear in teams is that the team needs to communicate better. For me, 98% of the teams I have worked with would agree that communication is something that can be improved. With that, here are a few questions I would ask:


- When you say communication needs to be improved, what do you mean?

- What does effective communication look like to you?

- How much information is enough? Meaning, how much info do you need to effectively operate in your role?


These questions could go on and on, but I want to point out the second element I listed above; perception.


Take some time and think about how you would answer the questions above. Go and ask someone else you work with how they would respond. I would assume you are going to hear different answers. Regardless, do you agree with their responses? If not, why? What is it about their perspective you don't align with? If yes, how does that fit into your belief around effective communication.


Perceptions are not unique. We all have them and they are all different. I can 100% say no one grew up the same way I did. Sure, there may be similarities, but if I went through my life experiences, no one would be able to say, "I lived those exact same life experiences in the same order as you did." This is not about right and wrong. This is about the fact that we all bring different perspectives to our daily interactions.


If you and I were working through an issue, I would not expect you to see things the way I do. I would also hope you would not expect me to see things the way you do. We couldn't! We are coming from two different places. Even though we may be experiencing the same situation (think of a meeting at work), we are going to interpret it differently. This is a HUGE opportunity!


Leveraging the perspective of those you interact with provides you the opportunity to expand your awareness. Ask someone how they see something. Show them a picture and ask them what stands out. We are all drawn to different things. It's not right or wrong, it is simply our perception.



So, the next time you are experiencing conflict or simply want to know how someone else see's what's going on in front of you, ask. Ask them how they are seeing the problem or situation. Be open. Remember that we all come with different perspectives and are going to see things different. Be careful not to rush to judgement. Remain curious and get excited about expanding your knowledge!




Questions? Connect with Jason at www.serveleadinspire.net or email Jason directly at Jason@serveleadinspire.net

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