This is a guest post about how our perspectives biasing the ways we manage our problems and goals, from David Beastall, Exponential Training & Assessment Ltd. It’s natural that ‘thinking outside the box’ is much harder than ‘we’ are aware of, especially the bigger group ‘we’ are this is even harder.
In order to improve the overall performance of an individual employee, team, and company or even an entire government you need to be able to clearly identify and understand precisely what the problem is you are facing.
This process can apply either individually in terms of performance reviews and appraisals or collectively as a larger group in order to facilitate taking action and planning that leads to positive changes and improvements.
Why might this be a concern for businesses and organisations?
The perception of a problem is greatly influenced and biased by individual experience and that of how an individual perceives his or her own reality. Spend enough time together and you even start to form shared opinions and ways of thinking, after all nobody wants to be seen as going against the grain.
However, this can ultimately lead to poor decision making, assessments that don’t accurately reflect the current state of play and important or even detrimental items not being recognised or picked up on in time.
For example, a small child will not see the same thing as an adult, having not yet been exposed to concepts that a grown adult might otherwise take for granted. Individuals with different skills, personalities or cultural backgrounds will not share the same points of view due to the fact we are all influenced and biased by our own experience, backgrounds and pre-established understandings.
How we identify with both the external world and the problem will tint our internal perception of the problem.
If we were able to switch out our perspectives like a pair of contact lenses we would then discover that often our entire understanding of a problem or issue has shifted focus having changed our vantage point.
One of the scientific explanations behind this comes down to certain brain functions, specifically the role that RAS (Reticular Activation System) plays.
Our brains RAS system performs many different functions and has a say in everything from sleep regulation, urges and desires to basic motor function. One of the most influential functions of our body’s RAS system is that of its control and influence over our levels of consciousness. Experts theorise that this system acts as a filter to what is deemed unimportant.
If it were not in place, we would surely be overwhelmed with the amount of sensory data, information and noise being collected and processed by our brains continuously. This ever present filter, whilst protecting us from irrelevant information also makes it somewhat trickier than you might have imagined from seeing things in a fresh perspective or new light.
Some ‘fresh perspective’ development tools work by taking on board and gathering information from fellow team members, colleagues and higher management. The 360 degree analogy is simply used to depict how information is sourced and collated from all around the individual in order to produce a balanced and unbiased report of an individual’s overall performance and successes.
With a fresh perspective insights businesses and larger organisations are able to form less biased assessments, continue to gather valuable insights and produce reports that are more truthful and accurate reflections of internal resources, staff and challenges in order to increase overall performance.
Author Bio. : Exponential Training and Assessment Ltd provide training the fields of leadership and management helping companies to become more productive and effective in the global market place through fresh perspectives. ‘360 perspectives’ is a fresh perspective development tool developed from this company.
photo credit: Robbert van der Steeg via photopin cc