A Dress of a Different Color

The dress of a different color
Image Credit: Wired Magazine

How many of you just spent the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends that have different opinions?

We have a rule that we don’t discuss politics around the campfire at our ranch. We have this rule because we find it difficult to set aside our own beliefs and listen to an opposing point of view.  This is particularly relevant due to the political climate we are navigating right now. However, our rule around the campfire is exactly why we are living in this diverse political landscape.

If I’m not willing to listen for someone else’s perspective, then how can we move toward resolution?

Do you remember the Dress controversy? People passionately argued about whether a dress was white and gold or blue and black. It made national news and received lots of attention.

This is a perfect example of people unwilling to give up the need to be right. Our brains are actually wired to receive information and create meaning and perspective based on how we interpret that information. The key word here is interpret.  We may all see a dress, however, our beliefs, values, and experiences will define what color dress we actually see.

Our perception becomes our reality. Our reality doesn’t always equal the truth. The dress was perceived both as white and gold and blue and black.

Our work at Momentum Consulting is to help teams navigate through their perceptions of each other, their company, and their customers.

We train leaders to listen for others in a way that they are contributing to the success of the team, company, and customer. This doesn’t mean they have to agree with an opposing point of view. If we can get past the agreement part, we can listen for understanding and actually expand our perception and point of view. This could make all the difference in the outcome.

Here’s a little fun for you.

See what you perceive in these pictures. Can you see that there is more than one way to see them? What if you took this approach with everyone that may have a different point of view than you? This practice takes a commitment to building relationships and setting your ego aside. Allowing others to express their perspective also develops trust. When you have trust, remarkable results can occur.

Are you willing to see both white/gold and blue/black?  I dare you!

With an open mind,

Martha Lynn

Fundamental of the Week #4: GIVE UP THE NEED TO BE RIGHT Keep your ego, your personal agenda, and your judgments out of the way of doing what’s best for the team or the customer.  Don’t let being right interfere with being able to hear others and see possible new solutions you haven’t seen before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *