LinkedIn Conscious Business Week 10: Perspectives
From the introduction:
For each week of this course I am going to take my notes on what I learned and turn it into a short blog post. I am hoping this will encourage you to take a look at the course and maybe do it yourself.
This weeks notes on Conscious Business focus on perspectives.
Perspective of Smart People
This is the most obvious perspective and because of that, we often take it as the truth.
I went into the theatre and sat down to watch a movie. But I was getting really annoyed because the movie was so dark. I couldn’t believe the owner of the theatre would choose to play a movie of such poor quality. But, about fifteen minutes in, I remembered it was a sunny day outside and I was wearing sunglasses. I reached up and touched my face, and sure enough, I was still wearing the sunglasses.
This story illustrates that people don’t see the world as it is, they see it how they see it. Their sense perceptions are conditioned by the filters they place on their senses.
And so the first person perspective isn’t the truth, it is just another perspective.
This is the perspective of your counterpart. So, in a conversation, it would be the person you are talking to. To think about this perspective is to imagine what it would be like to see me looking and talking to you.
It takes empathy to imagine what it’s like to be another person. Imagine I have a deck of cards and I pick one at random. I look at it and discover that it’s a 2 of Spades. Then I show you so that I can only see the back of the card. Having the second perspective means being able to imagine what you are seeing as you’re interactive with me and the situation. That is, imagining you are also viewing a 2 of Spades.
Someone that is not in this conversation, but could be watching it from the side. This comes up whenever talking about “him” or “her”.
This perspective is about other stake holders in the conversation. They are all people who care, or who we care about. Consider having a meeting with clients and other team mates, and as you’re presenting a colleague of yours yells out that there is a wrong number on your slide.
As the first perspective, you understand your position and feeling. You may be angry that they embarrassed you or are disrupting your flow. The second perspective is understanding from their point of view and imagining what they are feeling. Then, the third perspective would be to understand what the clients also sitting in on this meeting are seeing as well.
This is anyone or no one. Anyone means anyone who doesn’t have a specific description and is not attached to the situation.
When you’re watching a movie you can put yourself in the first perspective of any of the characters. As you take the perspective of each of the characters, the world may appear differently. But you know that you are a spectator of the movie, as someone that is not anyone. This allows you to switch between each of the characters perspectives with ease.
At this level you can see the whole system. And so you can often pick up on things that the first, second, and third perspectives missed. Because you can see it with detached objectivity. This is extremely valuable, especially when it comes to problem solving.
A person who has kindness and compassion for everyone engaging in this exchange. Think about the dramatic technique of breaking the fourth wall, into engaging with the fifth perspective.
This is looking at the world through the eyes of love and compassion. Asking yourself question like “What would Jesus do?” is thinking about the world through the eyes of the fifth perspective. This is the view of seeing everything with the intention of making it better.
This perspective is always powerful to inform in a loving, compassionate, yet intelligent way.
Perspectives, other than first person, can be hard to comprehend and even harder to consider in stressful moments. It’s easy to say that improvements will come with practice but I also thing that an important topic which will help with improving your awareness of different perspectives is the final topic: Mindfulness.