Monday, March 15, 2010

3D Juggling 469: Eiffel Tower

Claire writes: 'At half term, Ellie and I got totally lost looking for the Picasso Museum in Paris. It turned out to be closed for 2 years. The back streets of Paris are complicated to navigate with only a very scanty tourist map. Road signs, crowds and traffic make it hard to see where you're going. What should have been a 5 minute walk to the museum turned into a fruitless 30 minute trek where we both lost energy and hope!

What we really needed was to be able to rise above the streets and look down through the crowds to work out where we were going. She persuaded me to go up to Level 2 of the Eiffel Tower in the lift. You get to rise above the streets, but you have no control of how fast you go, and for someone who is terrified of heights it means that I still had no perspective. I just had my eyes closed!

Later we climbed the steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. For a moment I was willing to look at the panorama below. And it felt much better to have control of when to go up and when to go down, as well as what speed we went. Had I been less scared, we could have spent a long time up there working out what we could see.

For a holiday, these were expensive outings given that I wouldn't look when I got to the top! And I have to confess that I only agreed to the Eiffel Tower because I knew I could tell you! The point? There are several ways to get a different perspective at work. One is when you feel that you have no control and that at best you're in a lift that someone else is controlling. At worst you might feel that work is controlled from somewhere else and that you have no idea which way it will go next. My experience is that the lift produces as much fear as elation, and you're often not still for long enough to fully understand what you see. You're more likely to be wondering when the next lurch will come from.

Another way to get a different perspective is where you choose to rise above the day to day problems and business and take a strategic view of the workplace for a while. It's more like a climb up the Arc de Triomphe. What can you see? What looks different? Who are the stakeholders now?

Even when work may sometimes feel out of control, you can even choose to rise above the rollercoaster and see what's happening there. It just takes some clear time. And perspective.

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who feels that work is a rollercoaster.

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