The View from a Ferris Wheel

"I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel."~ E.B. White

Have you ever walked away from a meeting with what you thought was a very clear understanding of a situation only to find out later that someone else walked away with a very different perspective?

It happens more often that you might think. In my work, I often hear multiple perspectives or interpretations of an event and wonder how such “obvious” misunderstandings occur. I say “obvious” because when you are in the middle of these conversations, they are not so very obvious – at all.

In these situations, it’s helpful to get on E.B. White’s Ferris wheel. Imagine yourself at a fair, wondering around, looking for something: a person or a building, or maybe you just want to get your bearings. So you get a ticket for a ride on the Ferris wheel. When you board the ride, two things happen almost simultaneously. First, you are moving, versus standing in one place. Movement always gets your mind moving, too. Second, you see a whole new view from the top of the Ferris wheel. You can see the lay of the land and find new perspectives that simply weren’t there before.

From atop a Ferris wheel, it’s possible to see not only another view, but a third, fourth, seventh view. New possibilities emerge that weren’t there before when you were standing on the ground with a limited view.

Next time you are in a meeting, try getting on a metaphorical Ferris wheel to see alternatives. You can also invite someone to go to the top with you and share the new perspectives that show up. Imagine what promising views may unfold!