Fact: We naturally assume that the ability to see is located in our eyes, since that is the critical organ that we immediately identify as essential for the gift of sight. But science reminds us that the ability to see is located in our brains every bit as much as in our eyes. Emerging neuroscience has further broadened our understanding of perception as an extremely complex phenomenon that goes well beyond the mechanics of eyesight. Perception is shaped in decisive ways by deliberately focused attention, and a host of emotional factors both filter and highlight what and how we “see” the world around us.
Action: Practice Resilient Leadership’s “New Way of SEEING” by committing to a regular practice of observing how the emotional dynamics of your work or home system play out. Choose settings where you can “get on the balcony” and simply observe without being so heavily involved that you lose your focus. Watch your children at play or observe the roles that co-workers play in routine meetings. Make notes on such things as the subtle reactivity you observe around anxious conversations, the reciprocal patterns that characterize certain triangles, the over- and under- functioning on the part of certain individuals and others with whom they are connected. Regular practice, even for 15 minutes daily, will strengthen your ability to SEE the emotional systems to which you belong.