The late French Novelist Marcel Proust wrote,
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”
Seeing things through a different lens can often be tricky, but his words are useful when we consider the power of perspective.
Part of a coach’s role is to support people to look at things from different perspectives to encourage new insights and fresh thinking in which to reflect, learn, improve and move forward.
Consider this for a moment: How would you go about creating a piece of flat pack furniture? Are you the kind of person who: –
- Reads the instructions and follows them carefully;
- Methodically places all the contents of the box in neat piles then follows a process to assemble your piece of furniture;
- Simply empty the contents on the floor then try and work out for yourself what to do next based on the picture on the box;
- Ask someone else to help or do it for you;
- Or are you a combination of each one?
Whichever way you go about it, is there really a right or wrong way? As long as the end result is OK and your new item of furniture is one piece, what does it matter?
The way that we go about a task often indicates our preferences for how we view the world and how we prefer to think about things. Usually there isn’t a right or wrong, just a different perspective.
Ask a colleague how he or she would go about the flat pack task. Does their way may make you feel a bit uncomfortable? If it does the chances are they may have a different perspective to you.
In a world of continuous change in innovation and technology, we can no longer afford to be predictable, to stay ahead we need to keep considering new perspectives.
If you are struggling to find a new perspective for yourself, there is usually brilliance to be found in another person’s view, however, we are often quick to discount it just because it doesn’t always sit comfortably with our own view of things. Keeping our minds open to the perspectives of our colleagues is an easy way of adopting a ‘new pair of eyes’ from which we can learn, forge new ground and make fresh discoveries… all we need to do is ask.