Setting your mind racing

There was a big event in the UK last week, for those that didn’t notice.

No, I am not talking about the general election, Wimbledon, or even England (scraping through) at the Euros.

No, what I am talking about is the British F1 Grand Prix.

Getting ready

Now for the many who are not motor racing fans, I can hear you yawning already. But whether you like it or not, if you live near the circuit (and I do) for one weekend a year, it takes over our lives.

Normally it is a relatively calm place, with cows eating grass, a local store selling cakes and the usual moans about potholes or pavement parking. But for one week a year, madness begins.

Huge trucks roll into town, crowd control barriers go up, traffic restrictions start, grass verges get cut, and even some of those potholes get fixed, all to get ready for 150,000 fans heading to the track on each of the race days. It is a complete transformation.

And, being in the centre of all this, it kind of takes over your thinking. Residents need to plan ahead for food and any kind of trip out, be it work or school… we pretty much go into lockdown.

Of course, there is a little complaining… ‘what, no parking on the road in front of my house’, ‘blooming taxis’, ‘people driving too fast’, or for this year ‘exactly which roads are closed now’… but the reality is we have a world-class event on our doorstep. It is exhilarating and a real buzz for the whole week… a city moves to us and we all feel like we are at the centre of the world.

but then

Last week I headed out… past all of this circus, to the nearby town of Buckingham. It is not far, maybe 8 miles/ 12 km.

With my excitement levels still buzzing I arrived in town to find, well just another weekday in the somewhat leafy, semi-rural town at the edge of the commuter belt to London… it was all quite quiet really.

In my frenzied state, this was all a little too normal and I felt a bit of a letdown. It was like that day after the Christmas holidays suddenly arrived early… humpf

Yet, all of this got me thinking about perspectives, my psychology and how this feeds into what we all feel from our experience of the world around us.

Outside the bubble

My frame of reference was one of excitement, yet for everyone outside of this bubble, it was just another regular day. They had no connection to the event, or the engagement I felt at all, in fact, they would probably be quite bemused had I mentioned it anymore.

Our worlds revolve around our own experiences. Sometimes this is all consuming and it can be difficult to perceive other people’s perspectives. This is true in our personal lives, but also true at work too.

How many times have you been part of a project, one you are living every day, fully owning the results… it is completely engaging and absorbing.

But, then you are forced to take a step back, normally by attending that meeting with another department or building… and you find everyone does just not seem that interested.

In fact your project was towards the bottom of the discussion and the investment list! It can be really quite de-moralising.

However, by taking a step out and into the other people’s shoes, you find they also have their projects and priorities. It is not that what you are doing is not important, it is just that it is not important for them… and of course, this also applies to customers too.

By not recognising these dynamics, it is a recipe for misunderstanding, poor support (in the case of customers), goal misalignment and disappointment.

But, recognising and understanding another person’s perspective it becomes an enabler, supercharging engagement, building relationships and providing better support… it may also support you in getting what you need too.

So, as this year’s F1 circus moves on to another town this week (Mogyoród, Hungary… good luck!) and things return to normal, my takeaway this year is to try to be more conscious of other people’s perspectives.

It is a good way to drive engagement and of course, also makes you realise to make the most of your own environment while you still can (and is fun).

Now I am off to not get a taxi… next year, Glastonbury :)…

Have a great week everyone

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