“KIIIT-TEEEE!” My son froze in his tracks as he growled the word as deeply as any 18-month old can. I looked up, half expecting to see our British Shorthair (think gray Garfield) skittering across the back yard. My gaze was only met by my landlord’s giant toy-hauler RV.
“There’s nothing there, bud. Let’s keep walking”
“KIIIT-TEEEE!” He growled again, this time raising a finger to point.
“That’s Mike’s trailer,” I said. He kept his finger pointed out in front of him.
Then it clicked. I slowly bent down, got onto one knee, and looked from his level.
My line of sight changed, so did my perspective
As I aligned my eyes with my son’s fingertip and looked ahead I could see the ground on the other side of the RV. In the shadow cast by the trailer, a large jackrabbit stood on it’s two hind feet staring back at my son and I. He was on alert, fully aware of our presence. My son finally shifted his gaze and looked at me.
“Kiddy,” he said more quietly.
“That’s a rabbit,” I replied. “The kitties are inside.”
That moment had a big impression on me. It was one of those incredibly simple, yet deeply profound happenings. For me, it’s a stark reminder of the differences we all need to account for in our professional lives.
Everyone sees the world differently
Perspective is a uniquely personal thing. It can also be deceptive. What I mean by that is that is that it’s easy to believe our perspective is the right one. In my experience, though, no person’s view of the world is better than anyone else’s. They’re all just… different.
As leaders we cause unneeded difficulty for ourselves when we forget that the people we support don’t have the same perspective we do. It’s not that they’re dumb, negligent, or unmotivated. They just see the world from a different position. We can realize some huge benefits by taking a knee every now and then to try and see what they see.
Even if it doesn’t change your life, you may spot a bunny or two. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Hi. I’m Jason. I’m the author of the book A Practical Guide to the Safety Profession: The Relentless Pursuit from CRC Press. I’m excited to get to share it with you all and hope it will be as valuable a tool to you as it has been to me. There is no other safety book out there like it. That’s not me being arrogant and assuming you’ll love it. You might not. But at least we’ll be able to have a needed conversation about the change needed in the safety profession. It is available now! Email me at Jason@relentlesssafey.com