(An excerpt from the new book: “Advantage: Business Competition in the New Normal”)
Sometime the point of view is so rigid that the person will be incapable of seeing the issue from a different perspective.
A man showed up at a psychiatrist’s office worried.
“Doc,” he said. “I am worried about my family.”
“Why is that? asked the doctor.
“Well, it seems they are having a hard time accepting the tragedy of my death,” the man replied.
“Oh, I am sorry,” responded the doctor. “Are you terminally ill?”
The man frowned at the psychiatrist. “Why? Do I look sick? No, I’m not sick. I’m dead!”
Surprised, the psychiatrist said, “Did you say you’re dead?”
“Yes,” replied the man. “Quite and completely dead!”
Intrigued, the psychiatrist invited the man to sit on his couch.
“So, you’re dead, you say,” inquired the doctor. “How long have you been dead?”
“Well,” replied the man. “I’ve been dead most of my life, so to speak, since I am not really alive.”
“Let me ask you something,” said the psychiatrist, thinking. “Do dead people breathe?”
“No, don’t be stupid. Of course dead people don’t breathe,” replied the dead man.
“Well, I have news for you,” said the doctor triumphantly. “Clearly you’re breathing, so you cannot truly be dead!”
“Oh, No! No!” laughed the man. “I am only pretending to breathe. It’s a habit because not breathing tends to alarm people around me.”
“Ah, I see,” the doctor scratched his chin thoughtfully. “Well, do dead people’s hearts beat?”
“Come on,” answered the patient. “You know the answer to that. Of course dead people’s hearts don’t beat.”
The psychiatrist walked over to his desk and pulled a stethoscope from a drawer, put the earpieces into his ears, and listened to the man’s chest. “I hear a heartbeat,” he said, raising his eyebrows to the dead man.
“Oh, that is just a sound I make. It’s a habit like breathing,” replied the man.
The doctor retuned to his desk, put the stethoscope away, and surreptitiously picked up a pin.
“So, if your heart is not beating then you would have no blood pressure, and you would not bleed?” he asked the patient.
“No! Of course not, dead people don’t bleed,” he said emphatically.
“Are you sure?” asked the doctor.
“If you got a cut, would you bleed?
“Look,” replied the man impatiently. “Don’t be thick about this. You know perfectly well I would not!”
Instantly, the doctor grabbed the man’s finger and pricked it with the pin. Blood oozed out of the hole.
“Ah, ha!” exclaimed the doctor. “You see, you do bleed. You’re alive!”
The man looked at his finger in bewilderment and then looked at the doctor with astonishment.
“Well, what do you know,” he said throwing his hands up. “Dead people do bleed!”
A point of view can create a powerful bias.
Purchase the book: Advantage: Business Competition in the New Normal