The deception of perception

My Perception is this was a cold day in FloridaIs it warm or cold in Florida in November? That depends on your perception.

I live in Chicago and recently spent some time in Florida.  When I left Chicago it was 20 degrees; when I landed in Florida it was 65 degrees.  For the two and a half days I was there, I wore polo shirts and my hosts wore sweatshirts and sweaters.

Was it warm or cold while I was in Florida? The fact is it was neither; it was just 65 degrees which isn’t hot or cold, it’s just 65 degrees. Since I just traveled from 20 degree weather I perceived it as hot.  My hosts live in Florida and perceive 65 degrees as slightly cold. It’s the perception of 65 degrees that makes it feel either hot or cold.

Perception comes from each of our specific backgrounds and experiences.  Things that seem easy to one may be difficult to another.  Beliefs that one person has may be opposite the beliefs that another has.

Successful leaders understand that when it comes to facts and perceptions, you start where you agree – the facts – work through where you may disagree – perceptions – to get to where you can agree – the outcome.

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