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Clear black & white or fuzzy grey?

The colour of a dress and a solar eclipse – two much talked about events recently that got me thinking how different people view the world in their own way.

In case you haven’t heard about the great dress debate, read about it and you’ll see how some people swear it’s black and blue while others are adamant it’s white and gold. It’s a fascinating example of how the brain interprets the world around us.

As for the solar eclipse last week, I tried seeing it but couldn’t get a good view or photo. My neighbour who is literally next door posted the most amazing pictures on Facebook (see above, thank you Helen Paynter), that she took herself.

It really got me thinking how two people can look at the same thing and see it completely differently – and how important it is to bear that in mind when you’re in business.

On the customer side just because someone loves your products, it doesn’t mean another person will (just think Coke and Pepsi!) So if you’re doing market research make sure you ask as large a group of people as possible for their views. And if you’re introducing new products, make sure you have more than one version to appeal to different tastes.

On the staff side, there are so many areas where you and they may see the world differently. You think you’re being concise when explaining your new strategy – they may see it as brusque. You may think you’ve told them all about it, but if everyone still has lots of questions, clearly you haven’t been nearly informative enough.

It always comes back to being flexible – in your approach, in how you communicate, and in your own expectations. It’s no good becoming frustrated and annoyed if you feel people are not grasping what you’re telling them, and are getting it wrong. You’ll just have to find a different way of explaining it to them.

Remember, not everyone sees things the same way as you. Your vision is not the only one. Be aware of and open to other people’s interpretation of the world. They might just be right…

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