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 morecognizant of what we could be blind to, and actively look to be more inclusive.
Lesson #20 from last week’s post 24 Lessons I Learned from Meeting 100 Strangers Over 100 Days had a subtle “opportunity” moving forward, not necessarily a lesson – the role of perspectives.
I debated making this the 25th lesson. I believe there are other ways to slice outcomes from journeys such as #100Strangers100Days by looking at what the journey enables moving forward. Like reading a book and sharing take-aways, one can gain perspective from a journey.  
Perspectives enable…
  • Understanding and empathy. Instead of asking how could someone vote for XYZ candidate, and asking in a negative, shocking way, consider the same question with intrigue. Ask to find out why – did you miss some valid point? Instead of jumping to a judgement, ask to learn why.
  • Expertise.You can gain a deeper perspective in your field. You can read a host of books that support your research. You can go on a journey to meet 10 Strangers to help you cope with social anxiety. You can deepen your knowledge, and become an expert.
  • Adaptability.Adaptability, athleticism, fungibility… all words one of my former bosses said all the time to me when recruiting. Now, those words are some of my favorite. I’ve taken them to heart. I hear often from others who struggle to translate prior experience to some amazing job opening. Well, many lessons and examples from your experience, the interactions, the best practices, you can port to new companies. Perspectives allow you to adapt and apply a possibly foreign concept in a new, novel way.  
  • Some kick-ass conversations. This one was for fun, but so true. Perspectives can bring about change. Perspectives can bring fun and laughter. Perspectives can lessen burdens.

Perspectives can shape the way you think about otherwise static thinking. Perspectives can open opportunities from “completely” different worlds. The beauty, too, is that perspectives just take curiosity and patience.

(Deep, right? I know. I can hit that note every once in a while.)
Talking to a friend recently we laughed about my run-in with a rabid wolverine feline (“domesticated cat”) and then coming face-to-face with a home intruder at 4AM – these all happened in May 2014. 
We talked about this notion of reframing/ shifting the perspective to turn something negative into something positive. Indeed, I did just that turning both events into blog posts with lessons for entrepreneurs.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.”

Steve’s point alludes to the opportunity to “shift perspective” – what happened cannot be changed. Trust in the opportunities in the future. What can be changed are the decisions and actions from now.
To outline this point more, there are countless quotes about “getting up from falling down” or it’s “not about what happened, it’s about how you respond”.
Don’t dwell on negative events for what happened. See them for the opportunities they create. Shift ­your­perspective.