My daughter came home with an art project. It was a still life drawing of a pail, some books, a bottle and a pitcher.
She was having difficulty with the perspective and with the shading. She was feeling frustrated and perplexed at why her drawing didn’t resemble the still life she was trying to duplicate.
As I looked at the art work she handed me, I realized immediately what was keeping her drawing from looking like the original.
I asked her, “Did you draw the books, bottles and pitcher the way you think they are, or did you draw what you actually see?”
At first she didn’t understand what I was asking.
I explained to her that when it comes to drawing, we need to stop our habitual way of seeing and perceiving. We need to pause and see what we really see – Not what we think we see or what we think we know.
I told her that though she might think she sees all of the angles of her objects, the reality is that she only has a partial view of each of the objects.
She smiled. She saw instantly where she had gone wrong.
In business, just as in drawing, once we correct our seeing and start suspending our perception, our perspective becomes clearer.
When we draw, when we speak, when we lead others, when we are looking for change in our organization, there is always much more than what we initially see.
A simple adjustment in our perspective can give us the true dimensions of our organization.
The slightest pause in self reflection can give us greater insight into our relationships.
We all make decisions, we all make moves, and we all see. But still there are failures.
Some change initiatives end up going nowhere, not because they lack vision or noble intentions, but because our everyday awareness is based on what we think we see. If we want to succeed in this rapidly changing world, we must learn to see reality.
Seeing reality involves suspension.
It’s about pausing…
Not destroying, deleting, or discarding what we think we see.
Suspension requires hanging onto to our assumptions that are right in front of us, while keeping our minds open to what can’t always be seen initially.
Suspension means noticing our perceptions, our thoughts, our mental models, and our habits as the working models of our mind, and not what actually exists.
Most of us accept reality the way it is presented to us. However, when we can suspend, we can begin to see that our thoughts and assumptions have less influence on what we see.
Suspension allows us to “see our seeing.”
Lead From Within: When we are learning something new, we can often feel confused, perplexed and disappointed.
Our “not seeing,” can keep us from staying fresh, current, and from keeping things in perspective.
Where can you learn to “suspend” so you can have a new perception?
Where can you redirect your attention so you can see the new perspective?
Drawing: By Zoe (still a work in progress)
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.