While talking to an HR Manager she commented "perception is reality". I said "my understanding is that an individual's perception is reality" as not everyone perceives everything in the same way. The HR Manager immediately informed me I was incorrect in thinking that and long story short... we agreed to disagree.
What is reality?
: the true situation that exists : the real situation
: something that actually exists or happens : a real event, occurrence, situation, etc.
What is perception?
: the way you think about or understand someone or something
: the ability to understand or notice something easily
: the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses
Communication... how many times have you read that due to a breakdown in communication this or that happened or worse did not happen? How many times have you heard people say " I am an excellent communicator across all levels". Isn't it surprising then that a lot of the times you hear the former it comes from those that openly stated the latter. Does that mean these individuals are confused about their skill level or is it simply their perception of reality is that they are excellent communicators whereas others perceive their communications skills differently?
Personally I believe that reality is perceived differently by all and it is only when you confirm aspects of reality that a true picture is obtained. However, how often do any of us do just that? Looking at the world I would say very few.
The next time you communicate something important to others, take the time to get them to relay back to you what you have discussed and where relevant what the outcomes will be. Why? Because if you walk away with your perception of reality and they walk away with theirs, then the outcome will no doubt not be what anyone expected it to be. Whereas, by taking just a little time to build a shared reality the outcomes will be what both or all of you perceived it would be.
Have a question for Graham? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
There's always room for one more on our Therapy couch... so whether you join us daily, weekly or just when you have time to stop by we hope that our therapy chatter allows you to take time out in your busy life, to unplug from your everyday stressors and simply breathe, listen and change!