How many perspectives does it take to see and tell a full story? There’s no absolute answer, but it’s most certainly more than one!
Have you ever stared at a painting, a presentation, or a report and, after talking to a someone else about it, you thought to yourself, “I didn’t see that at all!” Even when we are all looking at the same thing, the way we interpret can be diametrically different.
I’ve seen this happen both at the office and at home! Way back when we moved into our house, my husband took one look at our kitchen and instantly saw the potential, the big picture, the end game. He’d already mapped in his mind where the new cabinets could be. He saw the future.
Not me. I saw the present reality. I saw the detail and wanted to run for the hills. I kept asking questions: “How many cabinets?” “Which walls?” “How long will this take?” “Where’s the plan?” I also kept saying, “Show me. I can’t visualize it.” So, in that moment, my very patient husband whipped out a piece of yellow lined paper, drew the concept, and took me through it step-by-step. Once I could see the detail, I was good. Two perspectives.
Ever see this play out at work? Leaders create and share a big-picture vision. Some walk out and say, “What does that mean to me?” We all process information in different ways. Some use their senses — they like to touch, hear, feel, see, and experience. Others are more intuitive — they can mentally put the pieces together, connect the dots, seek greater meaning, and see in pictures! Many perspectives.
So what’s the message? When communicating, either know your audience really, really well, or take extra time to create a story that speaks to multiple perspectives!
P.S. I think the kitchen turned out great, don’t you?
This post was originally published on LinkedIn.