Are You Open to a New Perspective?

Seeing the Big Picture Will Help You—Whatever Your Role

At one place I worked, I facilitated the onboarding process for new hires from around the country. I guided them through their orientation as well as their introduction to their initial corporate training. During this time, these new hires were exposed to the depth of the organization. They discovered for the first time all the services their employer provided to clients. Even though it might have felt overwhelming, they got a full picture of the capabilities of their new employer. By learning of all the ways they could be a part of serving their clients, they gained a new perspective.

New Perspective

In the sixth chapter of 2 Kings, the Scripture shows how important a new perspective is. After the prophet Elisha had repeatedly warned the king of Israel of the Syrian king’s battle plans, one night the infuriated king of Syria travelled to the city where Elisha was in order to capture him. The next morning, Elisha’s servant woke up to see this vast army surrounding the city. Consequently, the servant was terrified.

And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15b-17)

Elisha had a perspective that his servant did not have. Only when his servant looked at the situation the same way Elisha did was he able to see what Elisha could see. It is easy to assume that your perspective is the only one. But your perspective may not be accurate. There may be some information that you are not aware of, like Elisha’s servant discovered. What you don’t know can affect how you see the situation. Therefore, it is important for you to be willing to look beyond your own perspective.

Take time to reflect before you pass judgment on your boss or your workplace. Realize that there may be more to the situation than meets your eye.

Stepping back to see the big picture helps you understand how everything at your workplace fits together. This new perspective can help you realize there may be more going on that you were initially aware of, as the new hires discovered at their orientation.

Here are three ways you can look at your role at your workplace to gain a new perspective.

Start Over by Being Brutally Honest with Yourself

Understand What Happened and Try It Again

At the beginning of the year, I did an analysis of my year. I looked at how the past year stacked up. I reviewed my goals for the year and determined how I did. Not all were wins or losses: some goals changed during the course of the year. Based on my analysis, I had one win, four losses, and two changes mid-course. That wasn’t what I wanted to see. But I had to be brutally honest with myself. And figure out how to start over for the new year.

brutally honest

I didn’t like not making all my goals. But I had to be willing to admit that I didn’t make all of them. But that required that I be brutally honest with myself. I couldn’t just throw some darts against the wall and then draw the target around the darts. I had to acknowledge that I didn’t hit the target.

It’s never easy to deal with disappointment—or even outright failure. It’s tempting to brood about it. Or to ignore it. Or to deny it ever happened. I have lost count of the number of times that I have had to process what went wrong. And I know it’s no fun to have to admit that things didn’t work out. But disappointment and failure can be great teachers. If you are willing to be taught by them.

Based on my own experience, here’s how you can be brutally honest with yourself and figure out how to start over.

Be Gentle with Yourself

Change is Hard, So Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

Lately I have had to deal with a lot of things that are outside my comfort zone. Sometimes I feel like I am being stretched beyond the breaking point. Even though change is uncomfortable, I realize it is still good for me. I just have to be willing to be gentle with myself in the process.

gentle

That does not mean that I should give myself a pass. I should not allow myself to stay where I am. I have to be willing to be molded by God into what He wants me to be. But I should also not beat myself up about where I am at now. I may not yet be the person I want to be, but neither should I castigate myself that I am not yet there. Change is hard, so I should not be hard on myself.

I’m sure you have found change to be hard. And you should not be hard on yourself either as you go through it. Allow God to work in you. Allow Him to mold you and shape you. It may not be comfortable at the time, but it will be worth it.

Here are three reasons why you should be gentle with yourself as you go through change.

Three Ways You Grow through Being Uncomfortable

You Grow the Most through Uncomfortable Situations

I have two sons who are weightlifters. They like to work out together, and they lift a whole lot more than I remember lifting when I was their age. They enjoy pushing themselves to the point that it hurts. That’s when the muscle gets microtears and rebuilds bigger and stronger. In order to see the growth they want, they know they have to be willing to be uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable

Like my sons’ weightlifting, your personal growth depends on how much you are stretched through difficult times. You become more of the person you can be as a result of trials. That means it benefits you to be uncomfortable.

Here are three ways you grow through being uncomfortable.

How You Should Be Self-Educated

How You Need to Supplement Your Formal Education in the 21st Century

When I matriculated at the University of Virginia for my undergraduate degree, I started as a first-year student, not as a freshman. As I progressed through school, I became a second-year, third-year, and fourth-year student. The grades were intentionally named that way. The idea was that after four years, students would be ready to graduate (hopefully) from the university, but they would continue their learning even after they graduated. The purpose of naming the grades in progression was to encourage all their students to have an attitude of being self-educated.

self-educated

As a professional, you will need to cultivate a lifelong learning perspective. You will progress in your career better if you keep that attitude throughout your working life. You will also feel more fulfilled personally as a result of always growing in your knowledge.

Here’s a process for keeping yourself self-educated.

Success May Not Be What You Think It Is

A Three-Step Process to Find True Success

Success is not what people always think it is. As a result, success can be an elusive target to hit. Many people want to be successful, but they aren’t willing to do what it requires.

success

Success is not a one and done thing. It takes a combination of things working together over time to produce the desired result.

Here is a process for what will get you to achieve your goal of success.

Not Seeing Clearly Causes Dangerous Consequences

Three Unclear Situations to Watch Out for

The drive home from celebrating Christmas 23 ago was forever etched into my mind. My wife and I had gone to celebrate the holiday with her side of the family in the Shenandoah Valley. We had a great time of opening presents, eating good food, and laughing a lot. We knew we had a two-hour drive back to Northern Virginia ahead of us, but that was before the snow started falling. When we finally got on the highway, the snow was coming down so hard that we could barely see what was right in front of us. Drivers who were not seeing clearly that night spun around in the middle of the road or got stuck in the median. And not seeing clearly that night made our two hour drive into a much longer, white-knuckled experience that I haven’t forgotten 23 years later.

not seeing clearly

You will find that not seeing clearly in your life can have dangerous consequences. If you don’t see things clearly or accurately, you will draw incorrect conclusions based on what you think you see.

Here are three unclear situations to watch out for.

Integrity Means All the Time

by Benjamin R. Case, President, Case Consulting Services, Inc.

When is it important to have integrity? Some of the time or all of the time? My friend Ben Case, President of Case Consulting Services, has been a hallmark of integrity as long as I have known him. And he tells a powerful story to explain to importance of integrity.

integrity

Before I started Transformational Impact LLC, I worked with Ben. He is reputedly one of the best major gift fundraisers in the world, having helped nonprofits raise more than $4.3 billion in his 40 years of fundraising. And he shares his expertise six days a week in the Tip o’ the Morning, a one-minute read covering the basic principles of fundraising (and sometimes life) that we need to know and practice to be successful.

Even though I no longer work with Ben, I still occasionally write a Tip o’ the Morning. And I am pleased to post an occasional Tip from Ben on my blog. Here’s Ben’s Most Valuable Tip (MVT) #44 entitled, “When Are You Going to Have Integrity—Some of the Time or All of the Time? Integrity Means All the Time.

How to Give Bad News

How to Say What Needs to Be Said

When I was a new manager, I had the hardest time giving constructive feedback to my assistant. When it was time to share with her what she needed to know to help her improve, I couldn’t even get the words out. It was so difficult for me to say, that I had to try multiple times just to be able to tell her—because I was too concerned about saying what she might have thought was bad news.

bad news

My early days as a manager showed one extreme of improper communication in giving performance reviews. Other managers think that yelling the hard truth is the best way to give bad news. They think that it’s OK to say whatever they think needs to be said, without thinking about what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of what they said. Clearly both extremes are not helpful.

So how should we give bad news? What’s the best way to help employees improve? Here are four tips for how to say what needs to be said, even if it’s bad news.

How to Move Forward After a Job Loss

Three Steps to Re-Imagining Your Future

You walk into work on a Friday morning, thinking about all that you have to do that day and what you want to do that weekend. Soon after you get in, your boss calls you into his office. After you sit down, he tells you that you no longer have a job at that organization because your services are no longer needed there. He then informs you that you need to pack up your desk by the end of the day. And for the rest of the day you think through how a job loss will impact your financial situation.

job loss

Can you relate to this? This is a difficult experience to go through. You have to fight thoughts of worthlessness and worry. Because a job loss feels like an attack on your identity. But it shouldn’t be.

You are not your job. You are not what you do. Because you can change what you do. And a job loss can be a great blessing if you look at it the right way.

After a job loss, you can move forward and not just move on. Here’s how.