Thursday, January 19, 2006

Perception is Reality

This is my two hundredth post for really and I will use it for my main philosophy in life which is perception is reality.

To give you a background I am Fijian but because my mother is Australian I don’t look Fijian. When I lived in Australia the public mainly thought I was an aborigine if I met some maoris then they though I was a maori. Even some Indians thought I was part indian.

In New Zealand people perceived me as whatever Pacific islander nation that they came from. In Fiji they think I am European or Part European or whatever pacific island they come from.

These experiences led me to go through life to have the concept which is I am what you think I am and also gave me good empathy in judging people’s reactions.

So in reality I lived outside the bubble by living in my reality and seeing other peoples realities. And because of that I considered that I once had a good grip of reality. It is in fact hard to teach others about this concept especially IT people because you have to live in so much grey areas and IT people usually deal with the truth ie 1+1=2 not what the majority of people think it is.

It is very easy to live were everything is black and white so whatever your Minister/Talking Head/Friends say is gospel or the other extreme you have a very good grip of reality and can’t believe why other people think that way. This wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t care what other people thinked which was like my brother. He was who he was and if you don’t like it then so be it.

The way I manage is perception is reality. So what my team has to accomplish is to either change the reality to meet the perception or manage the perception/expectations to meet reality but usually it’s a smattering of both.

If you are in a room of people and see an apple that is blue and in reality it is blue. The other people think it is red. For me it is no use arguing to all the people that the apple is blue because in the end once you prove that the other the people are wrong they will usually hold this against you but the majority of times you can’t change their opinion especially in a group environment.

My technique in changing perceptions are
  1. First give the idea that an apple can be blue
  2. Ask one or two people to look at the apple again with this new knowledge
  3. Give a few hints on why the apple in question could be in fact blue
  4. Let them decide from themselves that the apple is in fact blue and hopefully that knowledge will be transferred to others as part of group think.
  5. In the end it easier to argue for something if it is in fact real.

The problem with this technique is that it is very slow and when the idea that the apple is red is a significant risk to you. Then all bets are off.


Anonymous watcher in oz said...

Lots of food for thought there George. Certainly perception is of utmost importance and relevant to politics in Fiji which is much more about perception than what is really happening on the ground.
At present we are counselling a guy with a marriage breakdown and when we hear the stories of his and her perceptions of what has happened, it is near impossible to know what is true.
Truth and lies all around it seems.
Thanks for sharing with us.

12:03 pm  
Blogger Jake Silver said...

great post, george.

10:59 pm  

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