A Different Perspective
My camera is a part of me and this has been true since my high school days. I’m not a “people” photographer; I love nature, landscapes, sunrise and sunsets. Over the years, someone will see a shot I’ve taken and ask, “What kind of camera do you have?” My answer has always been the same. “It’s not the camera, it’s the eye.” I am always looking for a different perspective.
The same is true for managing change – it’s not the change so much as how we perceive it. Change is inevitable. Life, work and relationships never remain the same. We need to be ready for change, yet it’s our human nature to resist it. Through this resistance to change we lose the opportunity to see things from a different perspective.
Why is the ability to see things from a different angle so important? Because perspective spurs creative thinking, and creative thinking is at the heart of problem solving. New perspectives more easily develop in a change-friendly environment. If we are open to looking at things from a different perspective, we can observe and learn new things we may have previously missed entirely.
When I’m working with groups and we talk about change, I suggest a very simple exercise. For five straight days, I challenge group members to alter their routines: when they wake in the morning, change how they get ready for the day; when they arrive at work, walk through a different door; when they attend a meeting, sit in a different seat; when they travel home, take a different route. During the week, these participants note what they observe, paying particular attention to any new things they encounter that had previously gone unnoticed. It’s an interesting exercise because, upon completion, most people are taken aback by how deeply entrenched their current perspectives are. Even slight alterations in their daily routines highlighted this fact in a dramatic way.
Perspective frames the positions we take, affects our state of mind, and heavily influences our attitudes, positions and interpretations. A shift in perspective, however subtle, can improve a person’s life in a myriad of ways. When we change our perceptions, we change our experiences…and when we change our experiences, we change our lives.