Perception obscures reality

There’s a new attraction in town, the CN Tower Edge Walk. You too can spend 175 bucks, ascend 1168 feet, strap on a harness and step out, hands and rail free, onto an observation deck.

Why is the thought of this vomit inducing to me? The deck is five feet deep. Some full grown humans are 5 feet tall. And I run on four foot wide sidewalks every other day and never fall off. Five feet is wide!

Obviously, the difference is context. Five feet is like an eternity when you’re on the ground. Eleven hundred feet up, it’s the sliver that separates you from splat.

Think about that the next time you unleash change on your team. Remember, it’s not just the what, the why and the how, it’s also the where, specifically, where they are in relation to the change. Their perception can obscure your reality. Make sure you level set. The last thing you want to do is talk to someone like they’re on terra firma, when they’re actually teetering on the edge of the Matterhorn. Context matters.