The Lens We Look Through

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We can be so myopic. I see it on all sides of the political spectrum. I see it in leadership teams. I see it at my kitchen table. We all have the lens we look through. It can be pretty tough to pull our eyes away and look through someone else’s. And we must do it anyway.

“But it’s so comfortable…”

Yeah, I know. We all have an absolute boatload of experiences that form our perspective. The nuances of how those experiences build on one another, impact and influence one another, and collectively affect us is for someone much more detail-oriented than me to pick apart. What I do know comes from many years of human-ing and a couple of decades of watching how people interact to help them do it better. And what stands out is how easy it is to get trapped in the Tunnel of Vision. We arrive at our own perspective, and it can be pretty hard to pull away.

Too bad. Do it anyway.

Talk less and listen more. Viktor Frankl said, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Stop giving away that space.

Think.

Put yourself in the other person’s position for a moment.

Take off your own perspective glasses and try to put theirs on.

What are they seeing that makes them believe what they are saying?

What have they been through or witnessed?

What does it feel like to walk through life in their skin?

Reaction for every Action

You are the only one in charge of you, so you don’t have to do anything differently if you don’t want to. However, for every action (or inaction), there is a reaction.

What happens when you’re unwilling to see things from your colleague’s perspective?

What happens when you’re unwilling to see things from your team member’s perspective?

What happens when you’re unwilling to see things from your family member’s perspective?

What happens, not only in the next moment, but to the relationship?

Don’t be so committed to the lens you look through. Set it down for a moment. Borrow someone else’s. You may be shocked by what you can see.

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