Scott Hodge



Oct 30, 2007

Don’t you just hate it when your lenses get smudged?  Man, I do.  Can’t stand it.  Yet it happens.  It’s unavoidable.

Same thing in our lives.  It’s so easy for our mental lenses to get smudged, isn’t it? 

Think about it…  Someone smudges our lenses by doing or saying something that feels hurtful or embarrassing….  And if we’re not careful, what happens?  Our perception of them ALSO becomes smudged and before we know it, we begin filtering everything that person says or does through those smudged lenses.

It can happen when we go through something painful in our lives too.  Suddenly, that "smudge" tells, or in some cases, confirms that we are victims and we eventually find ourselves living life with a "victim" mentality – which ultimately impacts us in so many unhealthy ways.

Same thing can happen when we face conflict in our workplaces or in our communities.  Suddenly, we see that conflict and all future ones through those smudged lenses.

So what do we do? 

We clean our lenses.  Or in some cases, if the lenses have gotten severely scratched or damaged, we get NEW ONES

Have you ever noticed how much better everything looks through a new set of lenses?  Suddenly everything is clear and clean!  The world looks better!  Our work associates look better!  Our friends and family look better!  (or in some cases worse – depending on how you look at it…but we won’t go there.)

Anyway – all that to share three things I read in Harvard Business Review this morning.  Three types of "new lenses" that we can view challenges/crises/conflicts through – and then the question that each one asks:

Reverse Lens - "What would the other person in this conflict say and in what ways might that be true?"

Long Lens – "How will I most likely view this situation in six months?"

Wide Lens – "Regardless of the outcome of this issue, how can I grow and learn from it?"

Some good stuff from October issue of HBR.  Article entitled: "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time" by Tony Schwartz.

Now I’ve got to go clean my lenses!

6 Responses to “Smudged!”

  1. Great post, man. Great great insight. I know when I have that conversation that smudges my perception, it can get me unfocused for days. Smudges make us lose our focus.
    Harvard Business Review? That’s so worldly. Sinner :)

  2. angie says:

    Very interesting Scott. I just got new lenses recently and I was just talking to Amanda about it on Sunday! I needed her to help me get a little smudge off of the new ones and she did. It is so nice to see things a bit clearer now. Ok so I know that we both got new contact lenses last week but that is not what I am talking about here! BTW- thanks again.

  3. Alece says:

    so good. thank you.

  4. Jake says:

    Great great post. Did HBR happen to mention that Jesus is a good smudge remover?

  5. Jim Henry says:

    Thanks Scott…I needed to read that today!

  6. Jesse Watson says:

    Scott – I just finished this article in HBR. I couldn’t believe it when I read your post. Great stuff!

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