Isn’t it challenging when you need to sift through and determine what is real versus what is perception? I remember a print ad for a bank many years ago whose message asserted that perceptions were far more important than reality. Employees of this bank were baffled by what it meant and how it affected their work.
As seen by this example, a problem can arise when people don’t understand the distinctions. Logical, fact-oriented people may tend to view reality as more important, while more creative people might be drawn to the nuances of perceptions.
Who is right?
The truth is that both are sides are important. Not only do you need to distinguish between them, but you need to understand why they can co-exist.
A leader can develop a scenario that implies that your company/department/division is best in class. And then that perception crashes and burns when a very different reality is exposed.
How do you avoid confusion in this world of shades of gray? Ask! Ask questions that will help you navigate what’s important, what’s missing, or what’s noteworthy. The more questions you ask, the more quickly you’ll see a complete picture: the reality and the perceptions.
Most important, never assume. When you make assumptions without vetting, you could be completely wrong. This will start you on a downward spiral of frustration and it will take ten times longer to sort it out.
Have a great day!