Perspective in Communications

Person holding glass sphere that shows view in distance inverted

As a a communicator, I am fascinated by information flows in the world today.

I’ve always been interested in sensemaking; understanding how different people make sense of what we do and say, based on their own life experiences, upbringing, social standing, wealth or health.

One theme that keeps coming up for me is that of “PERSPECTIVE”.  

After a 2-3 years of working in isolation due to the pandemic, and in my case, a little longer as I’ve been working remotely and across international borders since pre-pandemic days, I realised that what we lack these days in communications can be perspective, especially when audiences are remote.  They don’t benefit from company “vibe” that you get in an office or by sitting in the canteen at lunchtime. They might not even get out of the house much or spend much time in the city anymore.

By perspective I mean the ability to frame what we see/hear/understand in the context of what’s normal or what’s commonplace. Algorithms in social media feed us more of what we like (or more accurately, what keeps the ad revenues of the social media platforms healthy), but we lose perspective.

For example if you always click on funny videos, you’ll get fed more funny videos, and you might think all everyone does these days is make and share funny videos. But if you could actually see every single post or comment that every one of your contacts posted for the next hour, you’d find it’s not all funny videos. Likewise, if you walked down the street, you’d find lots of people neither watching nor posting videos at all!

For internal comms, remote staff are going to be very dependent on the communication we send them.

Have you thought about the impact of perspective in communications? How can we help staff in organisations maintain perspective and avoid getting a distorted view of reality?

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