Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Perception is reality

Today I realised that this should really be "Perspective is reality".

Different people have different perspectives of the same event.

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 habits of highly effective people, devoted a chapter to seeking first to understand before seeking to be understood.

In my view, to say the perception is reality is flawed (and can be dangerous). I suggest using the saying "Perspective is reality" to understand where others might be coming from.

3 comments:

Susan Plunkett said...

One of the benefits of my education in research was truly understanding the enormous array of points of view that exist. Thus I will tend to respond to claims from individuals about the way something "is" because that is their truth (perhaps) and it may be the truth of many, however, not everyone will embrace.

In marketing or business et al you generally have to aim at a collective of people. I have no issue with this per se but I urge businesses to still consider who might fall outside that collective and why and further, to question views and policies that imply (or believe!) that all people across all socio-economic groups WILL feel a particular way about an issue.

To me the days of a small number informing the remainder of how they (the remainder) think and feel are LONG past.

Susan Plunkett said...

Oh..and also Tony..about how we phrase language. I notice that only a proportion of posts I read online are couched in anything like "in my opinion". Where have tempered and moderate phrasings gone? To me (hah..in my opinion! :) these are important because they hold a certain humility (which is NOT a trade-off for confidence) and allow space for the points of view of others.

Tony said...

As always you make very astute points.

Sometimes I feel it is easier to deal with people if we pigeon-hole them.

I hear the term "life-stage" (for instance) to try and plug a person into a hole, so its easier to deal with them.