Recently, I attended a leadership course at a notable business school that featured many case studies. It was interesting that each executive in the program perceived the case studies very differently. One executive looked at a case study and saw one thing. Others saw something else.
I realized how typical this behavior was in all walks of life and how important it is to understand the perspectives of different people before acting or making a decision. This can be referred to as the beach ball concept.
A beach ball has different colors. From a certain angle, we may only see one color predominantly on the beach ball. I look at it and see mostly blue while someone standing elsewhere looks at it and sees mostly green. This is exactly what happened during the leadership program when each team came back with a different perspective on the case study. We all had the exact same information but came up with different insights and conclusions.
Obviously, people don't all think alike. However, problems arise when we can't understand why someone has a different perspective or sees a different color on the beach ball. As doctors and leaders, we have an obligation to try to see all of the colors.
The next time you are talking to a staff member and wondering why she did something in a manner that you don't prefer, ask yourself, "Am I only seeing blue and she is seeing green?"