Perspective Requires Multiple Views

When you are told you need a new perspective how do you respond? Some of the definitions of perspective include the state of one’s ideas and a way of picturing something spatially. So, we hear statements like, “That’s your opinion, but I have a different perspective.” There in is the rub. We have a tendency to reduce others’ perspectives to opinions. But, what if we look at this a little differently?

Picture This

One of my hobbies is painting, mainly with oils. From time to time I’ll take some classes. When I first started lessons I was mainly interesting in learning more about color theory and techniques. What surprised me, though, was that I often found what other people saw in a picture to be of more help. They saw things I didn’t and vice versa. The truth is that to see things clearly my perspective requires multiple views. The same is true in business. We may think our perspective is the right one, but if we are willing to put aside our ego for a while, we can benefit from others views.

There is Usually Another Way to Do Something

While we may have a solution to a business problem all worked out in our minds, we do ourselves a favor if we ask for the input of others, particularly if the problem was complex. It helps to let others evaluate and comment on our proposed solution. We all have blind spots and as such are subject to forming erroneous conclusions. So before we take too strong of a stand in defending our ideas, we do well to remember that getting an accurate perspective requires multiple views. There have been times when someone has made me aware of something that dramatically altered my views and opinions.

This has also worked the other way. I recall in a job where I was needed to figure out the correct recording of a revised equipment and software lease. Since I was busy with some other things, I assigned this to someone who worked for me. Later he came back and said he knew how to do it. But, when I saw his proposed solution I immediately knew there was a major flaw in it. To his credit he was open to discussing it. As a result of combining our two perspectives we were able to determine the proper way to handle this transaction. Just to give you an idea of how complex this was, when we were done I actually had to contact the lessor and explain to them that the lease was incorrect as written and have them revise it. The fact that my employee and I had both shared our perspectives and developed a clear understanding made it so that I understood it well enough to easily communicate the issue to the lessor and avoid having to haggle with them.

Try It for a Change

Next time you are trying to resolve an issue or solve a business problem, rather than going it alone, ask for others’ perspectives, remembering that clear perspective requires multiple views.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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