Trying to see the other point of view…

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We all see things differently – our mental maps on the world and thoughts and feelings on issues of importance clearly differ (eg from population growth to organic veg to mini breaks).  However there are viewpoints that can be clumped together. Marketeers know that, and we see it in how they like to think about meaningful market segments. TESCO understand this especially well – and in a more detailed way – and have used that insight to change some of the rules of retail (by selling from Value to Finest in the same store, and building links with customers through their reward scheme).

However, how far do you try to challenge your point of view? Regularly, on a daily basis?

Three tests…

1) How many newspapers or media sources do you turn to each week? Are they just those that support your point of view, or do you seek out those that might challenge you? Is it just The Guardian? What about the tabloids? The Daily Mail? Spiked as well as The Spectator? When you see a newspaper lying about that you don’t usually read do you look the other way, pick it up to see what you disagree with or read it fascinated to discover another angle?

2) And when it comes to road use, how many of these do you do each week: walk on a pavement, run on a track, cycle on the road, drive a car, take a bus, catch a train, fly by plane? Why the interest? Road (or pavement) rage comes, we believe, from the dominance of one mode of travel – and one perspective – in our lives….

3) If you are invited to a formal debate (as one of us was recently on “Is greed destroying Cambridge”), do you want the legal or political approach. The former is where those debating are given a brief and have to argue a case even if they don’t personally believe it. The second is where the apologist and advocate argue for something they (supposedly) believe in. Whilst both can help us refine our thinking (as does the less adversarial use of the de Bono Six Thinking Hats), we tend to think the former, legal, ‘take the brief’ approach is more interesting!

So, if we are going to try and see another perspective, we first have to understand our own orientation. The next digest picks up one common tool that helps us do this…MBTI


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