Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Immaculate Perception

"Immaculate Perception" is a phrase I heard used in a class about communication and emotional intelligence given by Richard Himmer at Education Week last year. I thought it was a great way to describe a common problem. We are often so self absorbed that we don't realize that we may not know or understand as much as we think we do about another's failings. Our perception of things is just that - our perception. And it is often too tainted by our limited perspective to be safely trusted. Anytime we become so sure that we know exactly what another person is thinking or feeling, we are in danger of this phenomenon. That kind of understanding comes only after we have been able to humbly ask the kind of questions that lead to understanding. It comes only when our only desires are to truly understand rather than accuse.

This is a great quote that also describes "Immaculate Perception":
"I know you think you understand what you thought I said. But I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant" - Robert McCloskey

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