More thoughts on perspective

by Edward Henkler on April 8, 2014

My older daughter recently reminded me how differently two people can perceive the same issue.  Understanding the other person’s perspective has been a frequent topic on my blog as I think it goes to the root of so many dysfunctional relationships, both work and personal.  If we were willing to truly hear the other person’s perspective, perhaps we’d be able to find points of agreement far more often?  You’ll also remember my recent posts about most truths just being opinions, and how frequently strongly-held opinions are wrong.

Perspective, different eyes

Everyone sees the world through their own eyes – leads to different perspectves

Let’s return to the story about my daughter and differing perspectives.  I was talking about something my old employer was doing that I found nonsensical or worse.  They have recently replaced all of the old trashcans with tiny little trashcans which you can take to a central trash bin.  It sounded to me like an underhanded way to save a bit of money on headcount while distracting more highly compensated employees from their core work.  The pictures I had seen also looked a bit ridiculous and my wife was in full agreement.  Lunacy, right?  Then my daughter, who had worked at the same employer as a contractor said I think it’s a great idea.  We both looked at her as she proceeded to explain that she thought emptying the trashcan daily, then always putting in a new plastic bag (and discarding the old one) was a huge waste.  She correctly pointed out that it would be a short walk to a central location.  She also noted compelling evidence that getting out of chair and walking around a bit is good for your back and mind.  Neither of us can know with certainty what motivated my old employer’s actions but it’s clear that there is a very positive alternate explanation to counter my initial cynicism.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the expression, “Stop and smell the roses.”  Perhaps we also need to stop and hear, truly hear, what the other person is saying?

There are many more references throughout my blog but you can begin to learn more of my thinking on perspectives, here, here, here, and here.

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