Expanding Our Perspectives

We learn a lot when we expand our perspective.  Despite many claims, we can’t ever look at anything from a different perspective; we will always have our own experiences, beliefs, thought processes and identities that will influence our interpretations regardless of our level of objectivity.  While our perspectives will always be uniquely our own, we can expand them thereby expanding our horizons and our lives.

Expanding our perspective creates learning opportunities and the lessons can be tremendous.  We can become more knowledgeable, insightful, wise and empathetic.  We can’t help but grow and develop as humans; enhancing our learning, communication, creativity, relationships and work.  We can do this in very ordinary ways in our day-to-day lives as well as through significant experiences.

I came across an article, “What I Learned as a Factory Worker in China,” by Ilan Mochari published at Inc..  This experiment was led by Ethan Bernstein, an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, with the aim to research workplace transparency.  Five students became workers at a Chinese mobile phone factory; they worked, ate and lived among the other factory workers who did not know of their identity or the experiment.  Today, the students say that the things they learned from the experience are still with them.

While this experiment was limited in scope, the lessons learned rippled beyond workplace transparency.  What can we imagine that we’d learn if we worked for a few months at a Chinese factory?  The list is long, and includes insights that cannot be gleaned from books, news reports, interest groups, stock indices or quarterly reports.

How often do we step outside ourselves, our stories and dialogues, to attempt to shift and expand our perspectives?  When we are able to do so we add depth and breadth to our experiences.  We can’t help but create more rich, textured and beautiful lives for ourselves.



11 thoughts on “Expanding Our Perspectives

    1. Well obviously you were right, Frank 🙂 You raise an interesting point…when there are disagreements an effective boss will try to look at the situation from staff viewpoints. I’m not sure how often that happens though.


  1. Hello Danica! you enlighten a great problem in this post: we tend to see and judge every situation just from our perspective.. and we forget that everyone has a different opinion about every circumstance. Even though living the situation in others’ shoes is for sure the easiest way to fully understand their point sadly this isnt’ always a doable thing.

    My suggestion is to try to understand others’s opinion just by trying to get a better understanding of their situation/motivation/experience, sometimes it might be hard, but still it’s worth the effort!

    See you soon,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Enrico! Thank you for your excellent suggestion! You’re right, it isn’t always possible to live in others’ shoes. You also raise an interesting point about understanding another’s motivation, in addition to their situation and experience. Motivation isn’t always obvious, is it? Taking the time and effort to understand these components will help us understand another’s opinion and perspective. I agree that it’s worth the effort even if it’s difficult.
      Thanks again, Enrico.

      Liked by 1 person

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