A workshop participant recently commented how nice it was to hear all the different perspectives in the session. Hearing the stories that others bring, the questions they raise and the examples they share shines a whole new light on what you think you know. It can be refreshing and surprising, comforting and validating.  

And often challenging.  


If you are not looking for a different point of view or opinion, hearing other’s perspectives can be unsettling.  

So it’s often easier not to invite them.  

But as anyone that has ever worked alone will know, if you don’t there is a real danger of getting lost in your own thoughts and your own plans. If you are not careful you risk doubt, confusion and entanglement within your own ideas. You will only be able to see your well created plans from your own, narrowed point of view which leaves you missing many possibilities.  

When you are looking to solve a problem or make an important decision there is always value in getting the views of others; from their standpoint, there will be answers that you can’t even begin to imagine. 

Drawing on you team to bring in their individual perspectives, fresh eyes and ears, different experiences and various points of view will enable you to step away from yourself. It will help you to think about what you are doing from a different angle and find out whether what you have in mind is going to work or not.  

Getting different perspectives allows you to gather straightforward feedback from a group of people who can reflect, comment and input into a plan or an idea.  

Thinking about different perspectives




This is where there is more than just a simple “what do you think?” but a real chance to check in on assumptions. An opportunity to put forward something you may just never have been aware of. 

There is the opportunity to build on what you are sharing. What haven’t you included, what is missing and what needs to be added to make the picture whole? 

With different perspectives comes different questions. What may be abundantly clear to you may not make sense to a good deal of other people. The opportunity to pick apart ideas from differing points of view will sense check what you think you know.  

And there is magic in the collective knitting together of these different perspectives.  

Hearing what others think in real time allows you to hear multiple perspectives in the same space, and build on the insights and patterns that are emerging.  

This is where facilitation comes in; to help this magic unfold in a way that leaves you with something useful and not just a head full of unrelated thoughts and ideas.  


Some people will have with fully formed ideas, a raft of experience and a lot of knowledge. They may be very willing to share these and tell you what they think. There may be stories and examples to share and a fair few conversations that start “well in my experience…..” It is easy to assume that those people are somehow more ‘valuable’ to the process than those who don’t yet have an opinion.  

I disagree: those without a fully formed opinion will come with a more open mind. They may not know that their experiences are relevant, or may not have thought of something in a certain way before but their voices are vital.  

By creating room to share different perspectives, your team members will have the opportunity to take a different look at what they know and to perhaps see it in a different context. Mixing those different perspectives will enable them to work out their stance on a matter and decide what it is they think. It is the art of discussion that allows people to both share and add ideas, hear other’s perspectives but also to consider their own. 


It is important to consider what you want to gain from inviting these different perspectives. Sometimes you may just want to gather and exchange knowledge and ideas, to expand on what you already know. Sometimes it will be more about trying to tease out some very different, even conflicting opinions. When there are very different and perhaps opposing or contrary points of views this can be more challenging to handle. The job of the facilitator then becomes more about helping those differences to be heard, and helping the group to move more to a collaborative rather than conflicting way of working.  

If you need some more structure to your discussions, then there are some specific tools that you can introduce to push/prod and encourage your team to actively think about things from a different perspective.  

  • Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats – wearing different hats to think about a situation from a different point of view.  
  • Brainstorming from a different perspective. As if you were….. [insert name of favourite celebrity/superhero]  
  • Empathy mapping where you consider what someone else (typically a customer or beneficiary) is feeling, thinking or seeing.  

It is not always easy creating the right space to gather all these perspectives, especially if the outcome is important to you. If you think you need some help in bringing your team, or several teams together to explore their different perspectives do get in touch to see how facilitation can help! 

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