As you approach making plans and decisions keep these 6 perspective expanding opportunities in mind.
- Consciously identify different perspectives for consideration. This may require you to inventory the perspectives that already surround you. If they are monolithic (consider factors such as age, gender, culture) the chances are your perspectives will be closely aligned. While that may make for a calming work environment that can also lull you into a false sense of security. Actively seek to understand the perspectives from those who are unlike you.
- Bring trusted disconnected others into your perspective. Leaders often carry the burden of leadership decisions on their own. They see situations only from their perspective especially if their perspective had previously generated success. Finding an outside mentor or coach who does not have a vested interest in a situation can serve to provide another voice who will help you unlock opportunity to better identify and understand your own perspective and help you consider the perspectives of others.
- Seek disagreement as a way to challenge your perspective. Many leaders enjoy seeing heads nodding as they share their perspective. A leader who challenges his/her own thoughts and invites others to do the same opens him/herself up for criticism but also creates opportunities for his/her own brain to think differently in the process. When faced with negative information or disagreement our brains often improve their attention to detail and ability to see a wider picture. Some negativity is good as long as it does not last for too long.
- Walk a different path. To gain a new perspective change how you engage with the situation. Literally walk a different route around your workplace; sit in a different location; look for new angles; sit at a different desk, say hello to a different colleague. Just by changing your routine you can change your brain and your perspective.
- Ask different questions of yourself and others. Sometimes asking unexpected questions, asking questions to different people or asking questions differently provides different perspective. People caught off guard by an unexpected question may be more candid with their reaction, which can offer you an opportunity to take ideas in another direction.
- Identify role models and seek counsel from their perspective. These need not be role models you can access directly; they need not even be role models who are living. Identifying a leader you admire and then seek to consider and understand that person’s perspective. This can offer you the opportunity to expand or alter your own perspective.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness allows you time and opportunity to gain new perspective. Mindfulness involves grounding yourself in the moment by being aware of your external surroundings and internal thoughts. Breathing techniques that involve o slowly breath in and slowly exhale can help you gain some control of your emotions and help you to be focused on the moment. When you are practicing mindfulness you can work on shifting your perspective consciously and tapping into what your brain consciously and unconsciously can perceive.
Often it is important to step back and then step back in to obtain a new or different perspective. Leaders who challenge themselves to expand their perspectives can find ways to bring innovation, insights and opportunities into their business.
About the author
Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer, consultant and writer who applies her insights into people and Masters training in psychology to facilitate performance improvements, relationships and communication for people and businesses. She has worked with organizations to deliver clarity on culture and brand, develop their people and manage relationships with social network communities. Over the past 18 years she has consulted with 1000's of people who want to make effective transitions in their lives. Tara has a knack for hearing what people are thinking and helping them see what they need to see. She is the founder of her own career and social network coaching business, works with several other organizations as a coach and consultant and is about to complete her first book on the "psychology of effective social networking". Tara invites you to connect with her on LinkedIn .LinkedIn