Perspectives

“Nothing’s beautiful from every point of view.” -Horace

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about points of view. Perspective is the context for processing information. Very little – if anything – is black and white. Actions and consequences rarely exist in a vacuum. Instead, there is nuanced context to words in a conversation, lines on a page, and in the decisions we act out.

We have previously talked about perspective here on the Sunday Surgical Scrub (March 2017) but, today, we are going to go beyond defining perspective and I will present 3 pearls to points of view that you need to consider for effective strategy.

1) Sensitivity Requires Perspective. Being aware of differing points of views provides sensitivity to the fact that we are all different people, from different cultures and with different mores. Sensitivity, and the ability to detect differences, aligns with one’s ability to be cognizant of diversity. Looking at a situation from the perspective of another, is empathetic and contributes to the fostering of collaborative relationships.

2) Do Not Substitute Perspective for Understanding. There is a strong desire, due to the bias of rationalization, to bend perspective to “fit” with your own thoughts and actions. Avoid this! Look to differing points of view as an empathetic tool but do not distort strategies to fit your unchanging perspective. “A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding” (Marshall McLuhan). The later quote is essential learning because we must remind ourselves that perspective can both help or hinder our understanding of actions. Cataloging the different points of view relevant to a certain situation are only one component of understanding.

3) Find the Vantage Point. It is possible to, when considering points of view, to ascribe to a perspective that is clear and concise. This is the Vantage Point. Vantage simply means a positon affording a good view. Think of the vantage point as a position of balanced and informative perspective; the point of view uncluttered by bias and most free of rationalization.

Try to find the vantage point of a conflict as a means to ascertain the key variables for all the parties involved. Find the vantage point for a decision you are pondering to offer you the needed perspective of consideration and avoid the collusion of bias that is so tricky whenever points of view come into play.

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: Many thanks to Judy Hoberman for having me on the Selling In A Skirt radio show! Judy has incredible insight into the gender differences that we should all understand and embrace instead of feeling unable to communicate about. We discussed entrepreneurship, my book Decision Diagnosis and, of course, gender differences.

You can find our July 2017 episode here.

 

GRATIS: “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.” -Epictetus

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

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“Perspective is Providence.”

 

What do you see in the picture above?

It is a color photograph of one of my patients, diagnosed with wet macular degeneration, who has suffered a devastating hemorrhage. Her vision is worse than legal blindness and, due to several factors, the prognosis is poor for any vision improvement.

So, what do you see in this picture of pathology?

Do you see a foregone conclusion? A lost cause? A chance for a miracle? Hope in a complicated case? Consequences of a blinding condition?

Do you fight for any gain, at any cost? Or do you accept and move on preferring to first, do no harm?

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about perspective. Where the painting tells the story, perspective is the frame. Perspective, must be congruent to the painting of houses, to accurately engage the conflict or decision in question. I think of perspective as the ability to see beyond the literal – to read between the lines – and akin to emotional intelligence. Perspective is to see beyond what meets the eyes. Without it, one is tone deaf. Perspective affords you the ability to decipher in real time, rather than in a vacuum.

“Perspective is to see beyond what meets the eyes. Perspective affords you the ability to decipher in real time, rather than in a vacuum.”

 

As a surgeon, I’m lucky because I get to develop a frank dialogue with my patients so that we can decide, through informed and shared decision making, on a path to purse together. I provide my professional opinion – but ultimately – we decide together. My perspective in these situations combines a mix of the unique patient before me and the knowledge, experience, and instinct within me. I must never disregard this perspective.

For the decisions in our lives, many of the times, we are not so lucky as to have a second vantage point on decision making. This is one of the reasons why fallacies and bias are so troubling and can cause much of misguided strategy. As we bounce possibilities around, they can become extricated from reality and adorned with bias.

Now, what does providence have to do with any of this?

Providence can be defined as protective care from a higher power such as nature, spiritual forces or religious deities. But, I use it here as defining the timely preparation for future eventualities. Providence, to be prepared for the future, can be found in perspective. In other words, to have perspective and insight, provides preparation for what you may encounter in the unknown path in front of you. For all the apparitions of darkness, joy, pain, success, and failure that you may encounter, find providence in perspective. Use perspective for comprehension. Let your execution be guided by providence.

“Providence, to be prepared for the future, can be found in perspective. Use perspective for comprehension. Let your execution be guided by providence.”

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: If you haven’t had a chance, check out my new book, Decision Diagnosis: Seven Antidotes to Decision Procrastination. For those who have already gotten their copies, sincere thanks for your interest and for making it an Amazon best seller in multiple categories and countries!


Both paperback and Kindle versions are available here.

GRATIS: “The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” -Marcel Proust

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

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