Perspective doesn’t make you right or wrong, it makes you….you.
Having a good perspective and the ability to see others is a key to great leadership because let’s face it….we get it wrong sometimes. When I first saw the picture above I initially thought it was a close up of some kind of computer chip. It took me a moment to realize that it’s actually a picture of a highrise condo taken at sunset. The same thing happens in the real world. You and I are going to make inaccurate calls because we don’t have the right, or different, view on things. Let’s look at some ways when can strengthen our perspective.
Find a different perspective.
The first piece is to go and find people with a different perspective than yourself. It’s a common trap of leaders to surround themselves with people with the same viewpoint. That doesn’t mean you have to load your team with a bunch of people that are going to fight and bicker. Build a diverse team. The team should have different cultural backgrounds and life stages. Seek out and ask them what their perspective is on the subject matter at hand. Some will gladly share their thoughts and some are just as fine just moving throughout their day. They will need a little more coaxing to get their insight.
Lastly, thank them and show them your appreciation for sharing their perspective. If will build trust and rapport with your team and they will feel safe and confident to share their perspective in the future.
Understand the different perspective.
You can gather different perspectives all day, but if you don’t take the time to fully understand them and appreciate them, then you have wasted your time. Empathy plays a big role again in this piece. Look to put yourselves in their shoes to understand where they are coming from. You may not agree with it, but you at least need to understand it. You can also ask yourself some different questions to help you gather more information.
-What would scare me if I were working in their position?
-What would motivate me if I were in their position?
-How would I handle life if I had the other person’s home situation?
-How would I want to be treated if I were that person?
-If I had those (family members) responsibilities, what would my stress look like?
-How would my outlook be different if I lived a week in their shoes?
Consolidate the different perspectives.
So often we say that perception is reality….and that is true for that one person. The larger truth is that their perception might not actually represent the whole truth or the true truth at all. Your skill as a leader comes when you are able to gather the different perspectives, understand them and then consolidate them for the truest picture possible. Piece together the different perspectives like puzzle pieces to reveal the true picture of what the situation is, or what needs to change. When you are able to do this, you are equipped to make a much more informed decision. Some leaders get one of the first two steps, but great leaders are able to realize all three.
Make a better tomorrow.