It’s likely that you’ve seen the optical illusions exercises. The most famous is the Rubin vase which depicts both a vase and two profiles of a human face. Depending on your focus, you will see the picture as two difference images. For some people it is difficult or even impossible to see both meaningful images at the same time.
Perception and awareness are truly amazing phenomena. And people never cease to be marveled by optical illusions and cognitive deception exercises. The activity provides information about how the human mind perceives and structures the world. While optical illusions can be fun and certainly interesting, they also can serve as a metaphor for leadership.
To make sense of the world, we organize incoming information in a meaningful way. But optical illusions remind us that things are not always the way they seem, even when we think we have ‘evidence’ to the contrary. That’s because the brain takes lots of short-cuts. Most of the time, these shortcuts work pretty well. The world actually does fit our perception. However, there are many times when we misperceive reality and think and act irrationally.
In terms of your effectiveness as a leader, consider the following three common distortions and whether you are inclined to misperceive reality due to:
1. A Lack of Time
2. Ignoring Complexity
3. A Desire to Stay Comfortable
If you find yourself focused on the negative, if you generalize situations and people or set exceedingly high standards with overly critical self-evaluations, it’s likely that you’re experiencing the effects of cognitive illusions…or even distortions. These can turn into habitual beliefs and thought patterns that keep you trapped and prevent you from realizing your dreams. It’s time to incorporate rational reasoning into your thinking. Call me. I’m here to help.
Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at email@example.com
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