From Whose Perspective

Have you every noticed how people tend to forget that other’s might see things differently? That there is more than one viewpoint? That seeing things from an alternative point of view is a good thing? 

 I remember a great piece of advice I got in graduate school.  The professor  said, “if you ever want to impress a client – you know, make them feel that you are worth what they are paying you – there is just one thing you need to remember to ask.  Just one.  And it doesn’t typically matter what the issue is.   The question is:

From Whose Perspective?

At your next team meeting, take a moment to look around.   Are you essentially surrounded by a group of  like- minded lemmings,  preening one another with validation?   A group of people who just like to hear themselves think – or worse – appreciate the fact that you think the same way?   If not, you are one of the lucky ones.

It feels good when people agree with you.  We like it when we look smart.  But validation can be addictive.   If we are not careful, like-minded thinking can become the heroine of corporate life.   It feels so good to be agreed with that  we start slumming around with other like-minded validation addicts and pretty soon we’ve drunk our own cool-aid and lost all perspective.  That is not good for anyone.

The next time you find yourself in a meeting (or a ladies book group) with a bunch of like-minded people, take a moment to pause.   It just might be that the market -the client – the employee – will see the issue differently than you.   And that’s a good thing.    

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.  Mark Twain


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