I discovered a new icebreaker the other day that allows participants to understand perspective a bit better. I intend to use it more frequently with audiences because it takes only a minute or less and there are no props involved. Simple is always better.
It got me thinking about how we, in our day-to-day blurry world, can see things so differently from time-to-time. Then, as thoughts tend to do (at least mine), I randomly recalled the day I got glasses for the first time.
I was probably 11 or 12 years old and learned that because of all the reading I did, my eyesight was less than perfect.
You know how we (okay, maybe it’s just me again) somehow take a snapshot of various situations in our life. Well, for some strange reason I can remember vividly the ride home from the optometrist’s office. Go figure!
I was in the backseat of our red and white ’55 Buick marveling at my new world. I remember rolling down the window (yes, rolling) and being able to see things much more clearly.
Until the doctor visit, I didn’t know I was seeing the world through a foggy haze. Once I donned the new Clark Kent specs…bingo…there were road signs I could read, leaves on trees instead of splotches and grey specks of hair on the back of my Dad’s head. (He wasn’t pleased with that improvement.)
Wouldn’t it be nice if every once in a while we could go “in” for a perspective check? Perhaps we would look through a perspective scope of sorts and someone would ask “is this better or this one?” How about 3? Is it better than 5?
Unfortunately, for many of us, changing our perspective or perception of things doesn’t appear to quite work that way. Most “experts” tell us that how we see the world seems to be a sum total of our family upbringing, present environment, daily interactions and many other life shapers. Education and our desire to continue learning about the world and ourselves might fit that mold as well.
In short and inclusive of the above, I think our perspective is derived from what we focus on. And what we focus on is a clear contributor to our behavior. Moreover, you are the only one who can go “in” and do the check.
That’s where my version of real leadership comes in. Leadership is not a title or position, it’s about the choices we make in each and every moment of the day. It can be as simple as how we respond to a success or a slight. So, if your perspective is that the world is ugly and bad, that’s what you will see. There will be plenty of evidence.