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