Leadership effectiveness: how to be aware of our perception lens

Perception is edited observation“ David R. Hawkins

We demonstrate leadership in all our decisions, actions, and behavior. Our decisions are very much steered by the feelings we attach to our thoughts. The thoughts are generated by our assumptions, which are formed by beliefs, values. Whatever we see and perceive is the evidence of believes through behavior.

We filter out the behaviors or observed things on which we do not believe, wherefrom the statement, like „unbeliaveable“ may coming.

Our perception lenses are shaped by -among others- with family patterns, cultural values, environmental factors, religious trainings, all kind of conditioning, etc.  Consequently everyone has its own perception lens. 

Whatever is seen and observed is eventually relative. Human relationship is relative too. Also the communication is relative.

Everyone creates its own reality through its perception. So, perception is reality. Whether we like it or not.

The challenge is accepting/embracing the reality. That makes the difference for a leader.

In leadership development it is crucial to understand the components of our own perception lens and their impact on our behavior. Once we look at it have the clarity, we can take necessary action to work on changing the behavior or changing the believe.

Here is a small exercise you can make use of it as a leader for yourself or with your team. The idea is increasing the awareness…and having continuous dialog on it.

Beforehand: please create a trustful, respectful environment and ask for the permission of participants to run this personal, provoking exercise. People should feel safe.

I call this the  ladder of perception. Here are the steps:

  1. Identify a remarkable event, where a second person was involved. It does not matter whether positive, negative or neutral event. It works best with an event, where conflict was, but again, it does not matter, since the process is the same.
  2. What was this event? Just write down.
  3. What did you do? Just write down.
  4. What were your feelings, before you did something and during your action? Just write down.
  5. What were your thoughts at that time? Just write down.
  6. Wherefrom did those thoughts come? What did you assumed, so that you thought the way you think? Just write down.
  7. Why did you do this assumption? Just write down, like: I had this assumption, because …(here comes the belief)…

Now, invite yourself or your team to find a partner and share your findings.

What did you discover? What is determining your actions, behavior?

What can we do? How to deal with our perception lenses?

Have a dialog, dialog and the process is the key. That creates awareness, builds new culture.

If you liked it, give it a try; share it with your community.