In 2015, a photograph of a dress split the internet into two. Some believed the dress was blue, others said it was black. This is a classic example of having different perspectives. You see something that others don’t and vice versa.
Your perspective is unique to you and it’s shaped by years of experience. It’s determined by your core values and beliefs such as honesty, generosity and patience.
In a professional setting, these same values and beliefs determine how you perceive a situation or a problem. This is where it’s critical to incorporate different perspectives to understand how things work. While it may be beneficial to apply your existing knowledge, it’s even better to accept newer, more creative ways to find effective solutions to a problem.
Understanding other perspectives is possible with self-awareness and a willingness to let go of existing beliefs. For instance, we have to collaborate with multiple people at work. If we become adamant and rigid about our point of view, we might overlook good ideas, opinions and solutions from others.
Being open to new ways of doing something can be enriching and rewarding. You’ll be able to identify gaps in your knowledge and become more responsive during a crisis.
Collaborate, brainstorm and have conversations with your peers because there’s real wisdom in group work. Solutions that arise from group discussions are known to be more effective. So, changing to some other perspective can help you come up with unexpected solutions.
Different Perspective Examples
Consider the saying, “Is the glass half full or half empty?” This is an example of seeing things from different perspectives. An optimist would find opportunities even in a crisis while a pessimist would do the opposite.
Another example is a court hearing for an incident. Witnesses who take the stand in a court of law bring different perspectives to the same problem. The judge has a responsibility to assess whether there’s any truth to their words. Perspective can completely alter your outlook. You may overlook the truth if you’re too adamant. That’s why it’s so important to understand different perspectives.
Understanding Other Perspectives
There are different kinds of people in the workplace; some are analytical and methodical, while others are creative and free-spirited. Each person brings a fresh take to a situation or a problem. Effective problem-solving is combining different points of view to reach an agreement. Some ways in which you can learn to look at different perspectives are:
1. Thinking Rationally, Not Emotionally
Rational thinking is about taking an objective, impartial and unbiased approach. You have to first consider factors like evidence, data and opinions before making a judgment. Thinking emotionally can hamper your decision-making skills because you attach meaning to your observations based on what you already know.
2. Stepping Aside from the Table
Sometimes, it helps to take a step back from the situation and look at it from an outsider’s perspective. When you have your hands full, you fail to consider variables or changes that may be taking place around you. In this case, you should take a break to assess how far you’ve come. This is also a good time to engage key stakeholders like peers, seniors and clients to get everyone on the same page.
3. Letting Go of Your Bias
We carry our biases and prejudice wherever we go. It’s important to let go of our biases to accept different perspectives and act on them. You may think of a peer in a certain way; you may not like their workstyle. But what if they have the expertise to tackle the task at hand? You should consider all points of view regardless of what you think about someone and lend a helping hand to become an indispensable part of your team.
Accepting differences in people and situations will help you collaborate with them. You’ll be able to come up with improved solutions, adapt yourself to different situations and align your personal goals with larger organizational goals. Harappa Education’s Creating Solutions course will teach you how to analyze problems and find solutions by considering different perspectives. Learn how to keep an open mind and be more flexible while problem-solving to become an effective problem-solver.
Explore topics such as Decision Making, Steps of Decision Making, How to Make Decisions, What is Risk Taking & How to Make Good Judgements from our Harappa Diaries blog section and develop your skills.
Discover more from Harappa with a selection of trending blogs on the latest topics in online learning and career transformation