Perception is Reality

October 12, 2015

On my first day at Sparkhound I was introduced to all of the company policies, procedures, benefits, etc.  Most of this is pretty standard and expected when starting at a new company, but Sparkound stood out in ways I did not expect.  One of the things that I really liked was that Sparkhound has a clear vision of what they want for the future of the company and for what they want to deliver to their clients.  

     I found this to be very motivating because it takes vision and direction to grow and develop into a positive future.  Sure, there is always the possibility of failure but Sparkhound’s goals seem practical and obtainable. The point that stood out the most in Sparkhound’s goals was the idea that Sparkhound treats perception as reality.  This had me thinking.  The concept was explained to me because Sparkhound takes a client’s perception very seriously but I don’t think the it was intended to intrigue me as much as it did.

The goal of this blog is to cover the two different aspects of perception is reality.  First I plan to talk about how treating perception as reality translates into Sparkhound’s business.  Then I am going to discuss the concept of perception being treated as reality by defining and understanding the broken down parts of the phrase.  The business side is relevant because it contributes to a positive, adaptable, and improving environment.  I want to discuss the concept of perception being reality because I want to understand what it means, why it is thought provoking, and hopefully intrigue others along the way.

Business

What the phrase “perception is reality” means to Sparkhound is that they treat others’ perceptions of Sparkhound as the truth.   If Sparkhound receives negative feedback from a client, we will work on a way to fix it, not try convince the client otherwise.  Here is a very simple example:

  • You think that I am a poor communicator.

  • I “know” that that my communication skills are above par and that your perception is incorrect.

    • What good does it do for me to feel like your perception is incorrect?  

    • Really, my feelings about my own communications skills do not matter anymore because you still think that I am a poor communicator.  Who knows, you might even tell all your friends and colleagues that I cannot communicate properly.

  • Should I expend effort trying to convince you of my conversational and presentation skills?  What good will that do?  You have already developed a negative perception of me.

  • A wise approach would be for me to treat your perception as true until I have the opportunity to prove otherwise.  I should start by looking to improve communication with you directly.  This kills two birds with one stone by proving to both you and myself that I am an efficient communicator.

  • Hey!  Now you can go tell all of your friends how well I communicate!  Woot!


     This kind of example directly translates to the business world.  It's also validating to prove your credibility and change someone’s perception.  This concept deserves the attention it gets at Sparkhound and has contributed to some of Sparkhound’s successes.  The decision to follow a idea like “perception is reality” is just one example of Sparkhound’s business maturity and the company’s constant drive to continually improve.  When I follow this concept I am constantly improving myself.  This also improves everyone’s experiences involving me!   Win win for everybody!

Concept

     There I was going about my business as a new employee trying to learn everyone's names, jump in on the project and team that I was placed in, and all the while thinking about the concept of “perception being reality” and all of its meanings.  I thought about perception being subjective and biased and also thought about reality being the truth or fact and how the two actually contradict each other by definition.  This concept is very well thought out.  It has some weight to it.  The weight this concept carries is time, experience, and input from more than just one individual and all of these things made me respect the idea even more.

Perception

     Perception is usually thought of as opinion.  Someone’s perception of something could actually be incorrect.  Optical illusions are a really good example of this.

Grey_square_optical_illusion.PNG     maxresdefault.jpg

These illusions do a great job at showing that the way you perceive something is not always correct.  In the first illusion there are two tiles with letter markings on them.  The tile marked ‘A’ is clearly and obviously darker than the tile marked ‘B’ right?   Upon first glance you might believe the two squares to be different colors but in reality, ‘A’ and ‘B’ are actually the same! Block out the area between the two tiles with your finger and you will see that they are actually  the same color.  

     In the second illusion the top half of the shape looks darker than the bottom half.  This is just another example of perception being subjective and not factual.  If you cover the middle part of the shape with your finger you will see that the top and the bottom are the same color just like in the first illusion.  Isn’t it weird that your perception changes by placing your finger in the dead space of the illusion?  Does that mean that your perception is not always the correct perception? Hmmm….. *thoughts provoked*


Reality

     Now that we have covered perception and understand it to be subjective, let’s talk about reality.  This part won’t be too long because it is what it is.  (because it is reality… get it?)

     Oxford dictionary defines reality as “The world or he state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them”.  Reality is the truth and fact of what is and isn’t influenced by someone's ideals.  Does 2+2=4?  Yes.  That is truth and fact.  In the first illusion above, the tile ‘A’ and tile ‘B’ are the same color.  In the second illusion above both top and bottom squares are the same color.  It doesn’t matter whether you see them as separate colors or not because facts are true whether you believe them or not.

Conclusion

     Okay, the part that intrigues me the most about this “perception is reality” concept is that they contradict each other.  Perception is totally opinionated and biased while reality is just factual truth.  How can these two be the same thing?  Even though the terms contradict each other individually that it seems like a very wise or experienced thought to treat perception as reality.  After looking more into this topic it looks like it starts delving into the realm of neuroscience so now you know where you can look for more information.  The concept part definitely interested me the most, but the correlation between the idea and conducting business is a very easy way to visualize it in action.  Companies, like Sparkhound, choosing to practice an idea like “perception is reality” are companies that are headed in the right direction in terms of progression and growth.   I am very happy to be a member of the Sparkhound team.

Sam North

Did this idea intrigue you?  Here at Sparkhound there is always something to talk about as well as ideas and discussions provoking the thoughts of plenty.  If you find topics like these interesting, feel free to contact us.

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