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A Rhino’s Horn and The Lesson of Perspective Bias

I stumbled on this cartoon recently that I thought was funny and relevant to perspective bias.



If you don’t see why this is funny, maybe we appreciate different types of jokes. Otherwise, it’s about the rhino painter’s distorted view of the world – always obstructed by her horn in front of her eyes. It’s omnipresent in all of her paintings.

The relevance on bias, then, is about our biases to things without knowing we have biases. This is touched on my current read Thinking Fast and Slow and a recent read The Mom Test. Many folks are quick to see the world in their own perspective only, and they are less perceptive to differing views.

This happens to me, too. I can be at fault of dismissing other ideas quickly, choosing to listen to what I am thinking. It can get me in trouble. In more specific cases, I can dismiss a colleague’s effective, authentic language style in prospecting, choosing to adopt my more structured, market-y messaging. Then, we find my colleague’s method is 3 times more effective than my own.

When I focus with my view only it’s about ego – Andrew Carnegie points this out, too, in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People. My perspective has me as the envisioned “winner”. A holistic perspective including others has the goal of a team win.

We have blind spots that have been there all of our lives (personal and professional). Because they’ve been there for so long, we’re not aware of them. That shouldn’t stop us from challenging our own perspectives. If anything, that means we should be more cognizant of what we could be blind to, and actively look to be more inclusive.

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