A Matter Of Perspective

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It’s hard to remember a time when things have seemed more divided. The perspectives of good friends, co-workers and family members are being challenged almost on a daily basis. Sadly, relationships have even resulted in separation of company due to serious disagreement.  At times it seems nearly impossible to have an honest disagreement with some people. We all can be very passionate about our beliefs.  

So how do we navigate this stuff without going crazy?

I have been working with teams, who have had these types of conflicts, to help minimize potential damage to relationships.  The picture above was shown at a recent off-site. Participants were asked, “How many logs do you see?”

Some said three. Others said four.

Then somebody said, “It depends on how you look at. If I look at it from the left, I see four. But when I look at it from the right, I see three! So, it depends on your point of view.”

Bravo!

As spouses, partners, customers, colleagues, leaders, subordinates, and peers, we have the opportunity to choose to see a different perspective. Choosing to try to see something from another point of view does not mean that we must agree with it, or even like it, but it does mean that we are invested in the relationship enough to seek understanding.

Appreciating another perspective doesn’t always come easy or without training.  Take a look at the picture below. There is an image of a young woman and an older woman.  Do you see them both?  Did you see one immediately, but had to work at it to see the other?  Still not seeing both?  Maybe you see my point!  Check out the hint below:

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Hint: The young woman’s face is looking away, ie the nose and the chin (I saw this first). But I had to work at it to see the older woman’s face, ie the young woman’s ear is the eye and the neck decoration the older woman’s mouth. (I was actually getting irritated this wasn’t obvious)

So, let’s not just react to seeing part of the picture and instead, seek to understand the whole picture.  Let’s invest more in important relationships by choosing to seek out the other perspective and being willing to work at seeing if needed.