Imagine two people are sitting at opposite sides of the same table. Between them sits a beautiful bouquet – in a simple glass vase. The assortment of flowers and greenery is simply amazing.
Each person is asked to write a description of the flowers. Later the descriptions are compared. They appear to be very different – near opposites.
Where one wrote of roses, the other described carnations. Where one discussed the vibrant yellows, the other listed muted pinks.
How can this be?
The answer lies in the reality of perspective. Both described what they saw from their unique perspective.
The next time you and a colleague hit an impasse, consider a vase of flowers. Perhaps you are right and the other is wrong. Maybe it’s the other way around. Or, could you both be correct (or wrong), but merely seeing things from different perspectives?
The wise person takes the time to consider the other’s perspective.
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.