Projection & Projecting
After the initial shock and stress of the pandemic, it is time for us leaders to start engaging fully with the post-pandemic world—for there are tougher and hitherto unprecedented challenges on the near horizon. They cannot be ignored. The planet, and her people, cannot wait.
When we see things in the world around us we always see them as we perceive them – we don’t see things as they are; we see things as we think they are. This is an unavoidable part of the being a human being and it has been shown to happen in all areas of life, even in the hardest sciences. Our brain works in a way where it looks for things it knows. For example if you have never seen or heard of a motor car then you cannot see it the same way someone who drives one does. This is pretty obvious stuff. However what is less obvious is that we also see things in our life that we are familiar with – but may not necessarily be in someone else’s mind. This is called projecting. Imagine we have been really upset by a colleague who doesn’t seem to be pulling their weight, and we think they do it on purpose to spite us. We are likely to feel this if, say, someone we know avoids challenging tasks on purpose, or if, in general, we often feel like we have been wronged. However it is entirely likely that our colleague didn’t know the extent of what was expected of them, or made a mistake (and might well be really sorry about it).
If we project our feelings and emotions about stuff onto others, it will not help anyone resolve any issues, conflicts or difficulties. This is the same for all emotions in one’s life and it is worth keeping an eye on our responses to things to see if we are projecting. Remember we all do it, so don’t be too harsh on yourself – just keep an eye out and be honest when you are.
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