Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I came across this picture recently. Do you see the old woman first, or the young woman? Can you see them both? I find it interesting how our perception can be different from someone else's.

Perception - a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something

I think the key word here is interpreting. We don't all see things the same way. We have filters based on our backgrounds, experience, education etc. It is these filters that create the interpretation. The thing is, we need to be aware of how other people may interpret things as well, or we can run into problems.

For example, as a mid-west US raised, former military officer, if a meeting starts at 9:00 AM, I'll be there at 9:00. With some of my clients, meetings start right on time as well. With other clients, a meeting scheduled for 9:00 may start at 9:05 or 9:10. There is a cultural difference in the company that is in effect here. My interpretation may be these people are rude for starting late, if I don't understand their culture. Once we start talking about outside the mid-west US, things can really change. When I'm in Egypt for example, I have to be aware of how Egyptians interpret time, not how I do. If a meeting is supposed to start at 9:00, I need to know that may not really mean 9:00 exactly. 

So next time you seem to be at odds with a colleague, think about what their interpretation of the situation may be, not yours. 


ZenSeeker said...


Your post is very timely and inquiring. You ask two fundamental questions: What do you see? And, how do you interpret what you see? Both of course are intertwined. As you very well point out it all comes down to a matter of perception. In a recent blog I posted I also share the same views. You could look at Our views of the same World we all live in are different, and I suppose it is this difference which makes us communicate and share our thoughts, even though we have never met, or seen each other. Thanks again for your post.

Reema Kapoor said...

Nice Observation regarding Perception or i say interpreting