Sunday, July 27, 2008

Your Perception Is NOT Always Reality

What you think about an issue makes it true. For you. Our perceptions are our reality, but not the only reality.

This is a very hard concept for many to understand. Human beings are very sure that the world is as they know it to be, but we miss the fact that others see things differently. Our personal experiences and beliefs effect how we interpret everything, and this can lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

This is very visible during a time of a major political event, like the United States presidential election. Passions run strong and people divide themselves into competitive camps. The more they jump in behind their candidates, the more they learn to hate and disrespect the other side. I feel everyone would benefit if all those involved in politics were required to site three new things they respect about the people on the other side before they could be allowed to talk about their own world views. Rather than slamming the competition, we should learn from them.

But myopia happens in the business world, too. People often surround themselves with those who are most like them and who share their focused points of view. This creates walled cities within industries, communities, organizations and companies.... and those who are not part of "the club" are dismissed as useless, annoying or just plain wrong.

The most successful business professionals realize that their perception is not the only one (or always the right one!), and create networks compiled with people who have a variety of backgrounds, education, disciplines and personality types. They respect those who have different opinions and look for ways to expand their own ideas to uncover not just any way to tackle a challenge, but for the best way that will lead to more business.

When you face challenges in your business, try to expand beyond the "we have always done it this way" mentality and look for ways that others are tackling similar problems. There is always someone out there who has a creative way to circumvent the commonplace. Make that person part of your inner-circle and mutually find ways to expand your own horizons.

Do not let tradition, the economy, the competition or your own tunnel vision stop you from success. There is a way for you to accomplish more... you just need to look at your world from another angle. I am confident that there are always new solutions to beat down old problems. You just have to be tenacious about uncovering the prized idea.

I have written before about the concept of "Big Tent Thinkers". Become a person who lets more people under your tent and share with them your largest challenges. You will be surprised how much others in your life want to see you succeed and will help you chart your course. One never knows whose perception will create new reality you seek.

Have A Great Day.


No comments: