Monday, September 10, 2012

Optimism from a half empty glass

I initially uploaded this image to my facebook page to share the humour with my friends. It’s a joke, a somewhat “down market” spin on an old adage.  But then I started thinking...

There is actually some wisdom hidden behind the humour. We know the adage, dare I say it, the cliche, about the glass being half full or half empty.  The  optimist sees the glass as half full, the pessimist sees the glass as being half empty. But it is the same glass - it is the perception of the user that is the variable.  Optimism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder (or, I am tempted to say in view of the visual, in the hands of the beer holder).

When we see something individually we interpret it through the lens of our own prejudices and biases, we see the glass “our way”.  However, when we join with others in a group we learn from the wisdom of the group.  Thus the pessimist is exposed to those with more positive outlooks, the enthusiast is tempered by those with a more cautious views.

It is yet another example of the power of the group - the wisdom of the collective.  

Most schools are hierarchical - which may have some administrative advantages but tends to assume that the view from behind the desk is the same as the view from the classrooms.  Sometimes it isn’t.  By genuinely consulting with staff, leaders avoid seeing the issues of the day through the lens of their only their own glass - and allows for the collective wisdom of the group to come into play.

Something to think ( or should that be “drink”?) about...

No comments:

Post a Comment