I don’t watch a lot of TV but recently I caught a repeat of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen nightmares – love or loathe him, he is certainly entertaining!
In this particular episode, a young lady called Tatiana had bought herself a restaurant or rather she had persuaded her mom and sister to put their homes and pensions on the line to fund her dream of being a restaurant owner.
Her Mom and sister had no experience of the business but Tatiana had previously worked at the restaurant…that was part of the problem.
You see even through business was bad, she failed to make any changes. She was so comfortable with the way things were that she was fearful of doing anything different.
The chef was a disaster – it was clear to all except Tatiana that he simply had no idea how to cook. In fact she was so in denial about the issues in her restaurant, that anytime her staff tried to give her some feedback or tell her that things weren’t working she ignored them or worse still told they didn’t understand how the business worked.
“Einstein’s definition of insanity – Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.”
Tatiana isn’t unique.
For many people the solution to problems in their business or career is just to work harder and faster in the hope that something will pay off. Some people even hypnotise themselves into ‘just keep a positive mind set’ and pray for the best.
Yes, a positive mindset is important but without a change of approach, simply doing more of the same is not going to improve anything.
It was only when Gordon came in with his fresh pair of eyes – a fresh perspective that Tatiana began to really see what was going on. She realised the enormity of the position she had put her family in.
The problem had always been there but she couldn’t see it as others could.
As Les Brown says “You can’t see the whole picture from inside the frame.”
But how do you gain that fresh perspective? How do you step out of the frame?
Working with a coach or mentor can help you gain that fresh perspective, help you examine what’s really going on help you change your approach to get better results.
Here is a technique that I have used with clients to give them a fresh perspective and move them from within the problem to outside of it.
How to gain perspective in 7 easy steps.
Take 5 pieces of A4 paper.
Take one piece and write on it a clear definition of the problem:
For example – I am not converting enough of my leads into sales.
Now think of 4 people who you most admire – preferably some you have met or have good knowledge about you and write their names on the remaining 4 pieces of paper ( one name per page)
Place the problem definition on the floor – you’ll need some space. Now around it place each of the names in a circular fashion.
Pick one of the people and stand behind their name. Now, this is important and you really have to go all the way with this. You have take on their persona – breathe how they would breathe, stand how they would stand, adjust your posture so it is like theirs – be them – and whilst holding that position look at your problem and note down any observations you make.
Shake it off. Move on to the next one and do the same. Remember to shake off in between.
Review the observations you made. By the end of this exercise you will have 4 different perspectives of your problem which you can use to begin to inspire changes in your business or life.
Go ahead, give it a try and let me know how you get on – just post your comments below.