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Your perspective is right - and also wrong!

Did you enjoy the video? I did, and I keep sharing it with everyone that I know, showing it especially during our Strategic Decision Making programme. You would have seen that the picture of the man was actually made up of different pieces of discarded materials including a wheel barrow, a rusted chair, a section of a bed post, a guitar, and even the head of a statue! However, taken together and seen from one spot, they form the picture of the postal worker, like so...

So, is this a work of art, or is it simply a pile of junk? The answer is both! It is a pile of junk when viewed from angles other than the one in the centre through the viewing window, the one that one pulls in all these pieces in a certain perspective to give you a work of art!

So what's the big deal about this?

Well, it is simply that all these perspectives are correct. Viewed from different angles, it can be a postal worker, or it could be a religious artefact, or it could be a pile of garden tools. And they are! So how can we pull this apart to say for sure this is one thing or another? In truth we cannot.

And this is the same thing when it comes to our decisions. When we are trying to make a decision, we see things from a certain angle, and the perspective that greets us is correct - from that angle. So when we make a decision, it will in all honesty, be correct - but at that angle! Yet, from a different angle, we see a totally different thing, and this may set up the conditions for us to make a radically different decision! So, two people, when looking at the same situation, may come to two diversely different decisions, and both of them are correct! So herein lies the rub, ladies and gentlemen - the reason why we have so many conflicts in the office, at home, even in the playground, is because we see things differently, and we are convinced that what we see is the absolute truth, failing to acknowledge another person's point of view, leading sometimes to a protracted disagreement. Not very healthy, is it? So here are 4 ways to help you move away from a fixed position and create the conditions for adopting the right perspective.

1. Suspend judgement

When people have strong convictions for their ideals, they can sometimes become self-righteous. They may even judge others as wrong, or ignorant. When this happens, they fail to see what the other person is seeing simply because that person is "mistaken". After all, we who are right cannot bend to the wiles of those who are wrong, correct? The first thing we need to do is to be aware that taking such strong positions may lead to cognitive blindness, to self-righteousness; and we need to at least acknowledge that there are alternatives and even if they may be "less right" than you, they are, nevertheless, alternatives; and once there are alternatives, ideals become less certain. You may not be right.

2. Expand your vision

Take a look at this picture...

Do you see a nice countryside on a bright sunny day, with a slight chance of rain? Looks like it is going to be one of those lazy days again, don't you think?

Now, if we expanded this picture, this is what we see...