Is that fact actually just my perspective?

Client Experiences Viewpoints

It is so easy to assume that everyone shares our opinion. And it’s so dangerous.

We can be so convinced by our own perspective on something – it’s so obviously right! And of course those around us are right too. It’s not even a conversation between us and our immediate peers, we are all in agreement about ‘it’.

A huge risk is that we forget it is only a perspective and instead we hold it as fact. We casually and openly judge and slate the alternative view because it seems so absurd – “no one around here could possibly believe that”. It’s laughable!

We may therefore peer pressure or embarrass others who might hold the opposing view into silence – not on purpose of course. We could inadvertenly be removing any opportunity to have a conversation, to share our views and to learn something new about the subject, context or person.

I’m not talking politics – honestly – but if it’s a helpful lens then take it.

A while back I was working with an exec team who verbally shared my beliefs about performance, and commissioned us to support their teams in their leadership and performance. They liked the idea of developing their people to have agency and accountability, as well as the idea of coaching to increase capacities and that a more leaderful approach on their part would increase the performance of the teams,


When time got tight or proverbials hit fans they saw all of the above as a luxury, at their core they believed that ‘in the moment’ what would actually increase performance was directing, dictating, reinforcing their position and aggressive behaviours.

We needed to talk about our differing views, really talk about them. We needed to really deeply discuss their beliefs about performance, what was driving them, what they had experienced that reinforced them, what were their fears if they lived a different way, what would a reality where a view different to theirs is true? What else, what else, what else?

It was a tough and, at times, uncomfortable conversation. A conversation that required the most active of listening and the rawest of honesty. And a lot of staying power and self regulation from everyone. It got harder before it got easier – but it did get easier. They wanted to believe in what we were doing but in their gut it felt like a naive utopia in which people left to do their jobs didn’t take the piss, cut corners etc. It felt like a soft and vulnerable position to take to let people make mistakes. In their guts they believed that people will always take advantage of an opportunity to slack. Their core belief about people drove their leadership and influenced the culture of the company.

Now we had something to work on.

Experiment with this suggestion; what do you believe to be fact that maybe isn’t for others? Instigate a conversation and do it with a genuine intent to better understand – not just the rationale for their perspective but the feelings and emotions that are attached to it.

What are we all missing in our echo chambers?

conversation #echochamber #listening