A Simple Exercise on Perspective

by | Aug 7, 2021 | Change |


On your next team zoom call, have everyone grab their phones and take some photos. Ask everyone to take a photo looking straight ahead. Turn 90 degrees and take a photo. Turn 90 degrees again in the same direction, take a photo. And turn 90 degrees again and a photo. Then look at the photos.

The in person version of this is to take your team outside and stand in a circle. Place an object (anything will do) in the middle of the circle. Then ask everyone to take a photo of the object. Then share the photos.

In either exercise, ask people to identify things in each photo which are not present in the other photos. Usually two things happen. First, people can find something different in each photo. Second, and this happens especially when doing it in person, we find some people have zoomed in, while others have not. And then usually some friendly argument breaks out over what the instructions (and assumptions) were.

This is a terribly simple exercise and yet it helps teams of people ‘see’ differently. While we ‘know’ the world looks different if we turn 90 degrees or if look at an object from a different side of the circle, we rarely move to see the difference. And the other benefit of doing this exercise together and at the same time, it is hard to argue my view is the only correct view (although some will still try!).

To state the obvious, this is not just true of where we are physically, but applies to the roles we play in organisations, the colour of our skin, our gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, our health, our physical and mental (dis)abilities, and so on.

Perhaps it’s worth giving it a try and ‘seeing’ where the conversation takes you.

The choice is up to us.

Photo by Photoholgic


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