Taking the wide view

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called How to focus which talked about how sometimes we need to slow down and stand still in order to be able to zoom in on something to see the tiniest detail.

In a recent session with a client, I was offered a different perspective. Charlie is a keen motorcyclist and told me about a technique used by sportsbike riders called ‘wide view’. Apparently, rather than homing in on what’s directly in front of you, you are encouraged to use your peripheral vision to open up your view of the track. He said ‘the wider you look, the slower everything seems.’

This intrigues me. I have no idea of what must happen in the rider’s brain in order for it to feel like everything slows down but I can only imagine how useful it might be if we could apply that in our everyday lives. Instead of blocking out peripheral elements, we’d open ourselves up to a wider view and perhaps that extra detail would add more to our assessment of the situation. I’m trying this out in various scenarios: perhaps you could too.

Say you’ve got a problem with a particular team member. You’ve replayed conversations in your head, tried to understand what motivates him, made a conscious effort to notice what it is you do or so that triggers a particular reaction in him. Now imagine taking some time to look up from your computer, sit back in your chair and take the wide view. See how he interacts with others in the team, listen to his tone during phone calls, notice how he reacts when interrupted by a) a peer b) someone more senior c) a friend. Would this extra information help you decide how to solve your problem?

Today’s pebble for you to examine: is there a situation in which you would benefit from taking a wide view?

What do you think?


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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3 Responses to Taking the wide view

  1. Pingback: The fixation effect | Turning over pebbles

  2. Pingback: How to gain perspective | Turning over pebbles

  3. Pingback: Is empathy important? | Turning over pebbles

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